|The beach at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer|
That being said, it's a gorgeous area with — like most of France — a rich history. While our flat in Paris was being robbed, we were relaxing on the beach and enjoying the beauty of the Mediterranean while our friend David told us a bit of the history of the Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. The name of the town means "the Saint Mary's of the Sea". According to local legend, the three Saint Mary's (of the Catholic religion), after witnessing the empty tomb of Jesus, fled the Middle East on a boat and sailed across the Mediterranean before arriving at Oppidum-Râ, the town now named Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.
For those who are interested in Catholic history (particularly of the Dan Brown type), the legend states that when the three Mary's "fled" in 42CE, they were accompanied by a dark-skinned girl named Sarah, today known as Saint Sarah. She's the patron saint of the Roma (popularly known as "Gypsies"), but more importantly, some believe her to be the daughter of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. This idea is explored more fully in the book The Woman with the Alabaster Jar. To me, the idea of Jesus having children isn't particularly surprising or even noteworthy, but for some Christians, this is blasphemy, though the recently discovered papyrus which hints that Jesus claimed "Mary" as his wife is certainly intriguing.
|La Pequelette, a surprisingly great restaurant|
|Anyone recognize this photo?|
In any event, we're now back in Paris and our home is the site of a robbery that is curious, to say the least. The intruder(s) turned the place over, emptying drawers and making a mess. And what did they take? A 17 inch Macbook in plain site was left untouched. An expensive Hermes bracelet? Untouched. My wife's pearls? Untouched. Unopened bottles of top-shelf liquor? Untouched. Passports? Untouched. In fact, there were plenty of things lying around that were worth money, but they managed to take one thing that really mattered: my wife's wedding ring. As far as we can tell, the only thing they took was that and a cheap pair of cufflinks. We'll keep looking to see what may be missing, but so far, I'm mystified.