It’s my own fault. In my last book I covered the general uselessness of the oyster at length and breadth (see here ). And it really is like that: nobody has to eat oysters. The situations in which a person somewhere in the world groans: „Wow, I really need an oyster now!“ Are truly few and far between. In addition, when I last consumed oysters a few years ago, I had the feeling that this slimy red sea and my internal organs would not be the best friends.

But no, then the fine Mr. Barth is sitting in a beach restaurant in the south of France, feels like Bimberla Important, swings his pastis glass and sounds urbane: “Well, you HAVE to order oysters here!” Well. Six oysters, an open day for all body orifices and two blackouts at night including head banging on the hard camper floor later I would like to state in writing and for all eternity:
The oyster and I, we are divorced people!

I actually only wanted to do a few more highlights in southern France at the end of our Europe tour. And there is plenty of it here: Carcassonne, a fascinating medieval town that many Germans only know as a board game, and with its winding alleys, turrets and walls that looks so beyond our time that you can unpack the shawm and with a happy “ Tanderadei! ”Wants to hop through the streets. (Don’t worry, that was a joke. Nobody needs shawms. Or medieval music at all. The phrase „If someone were to play shawm now!“ Is almost less common than „Wow, I really need an oyster now!“)

Or Saintes Maries de la Mer, one of my all-time favorite spots in France, deep down in the Camargue. Funnily enough, I once read a post in a travel forum in which a lady complained that Saintes Maries was probably the very last place because you couldn’t do anything there, except go to the market, stroll through the Camargue, or to look at the sea. Yes, uh … that’s pretty much in a nutshell what I love about the dump!

Und dann natürlich die Krönung zum Schluss: Nizza. Während man meiner Ansicht nach nahezu die gesamte Côte d’Azur in die Tonne kloppen kann (Cannes – warum? Saint-Tropez – wofür? Botox spritzen, vors Café hocken und hoffen, dass die InTouch vorbeikommt, kann man doch auch in Düsseldorf!), ist Nizza die große, wunderbare Ausnahme da unten: eine echte Stadt mit echten Menschen, wunderbaren Cafés und Restaurants und Eisdielen (bei der berühmtesten, Fenocchio, gibt es nicht weniger als 90 Sorten – von Honig-Pinienkern bis Tomate-Basilikum) und wer nicht weiß, woher die Côte d’Azur ihren Namen hat, wird nach einem Blick auf das Meer vor Nizza verstehen, verstummen und stundenlang gucken.

So. And now? The four months #EuropeTour are almost over. My cell phone battery now lasts almost exactly half an hour. My data volume for the month has also been used up. I wrecked my eBook reader in our folding bed three days ago. Yesterday the fresh water pump broke and it is just starting to rain. Someone seems to be telling us, „Come on, it’s fine now – go home.“ But there is one more thing we have to do. More on this in part 29. Just this much: oysters don’t eat it.