The Crossed Heart Anchor (Camargue Cross)– Provence, France

A few summers ago when I was still working for Contiki, I went on a river cruise to the South of France. One of the excursions was olive oil tasting at the Moulin Saint Jean Olive Farm located in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. It was a family olive farm, passed down from the generations to two sisters, and is now the only female owned & operated olive farm in France! In the gift shop and around the farmhouse, I kept noticing a beautiful emblem of a crossed heart anchor.

After the olive oil farm we traveled to Les Baux-de-Provence, a Medieval village that sits atop a fortified rocky site in the Alpilles mountains, with stunning views of Arles and la Camargue. Again in the gift shops I noticed this same emblem. It wasn't until I returned home and starting going through my pictures, that I finally discovered what the anchor meant.

Here is what I've learned, and here is the adorable little dog I met at the Olive Oil Farm, I hope you enjoy!

The Origin of the CamarGUe Cross /
La Croix de Camargue

The Camargue Cross icon can be found in the South of France, by the Mediterranean Sea. It’s the emblem of the Saintes Maries de la Mer, the Capital of the Camargue region.

It was created by artist Hermann Paul in 1924 at the request of the Marquis Folco de Baroncelli. The emblem’s cross, heart and anchor represent three key Christian virtues: Faith, Love & Hope. The Maries de la Mer means “Marys of the Sea”, after the three Marys (Mary Magdalene, Mary Salome & Mary Jacobe) who were companions to Mary the mother of Jesus and the first witnesses of the empty tomb after Jesus’ resurrection. They were said to have escaped persecution by boat with no sails or oars, and landed on the town’s shores.

The town is also home to an annual pilgrimage and gathering of the gypsies each May, to venerate Saint Sara, the patron saint of the Romani people, who is believed to have helped the three Marys. In the 20th century, the town became a literary and artisitic center and was a favorite of Hemingway, Picasso & Van Gogh. The area is famous for its wild white horses, black long-horned bulls and pink flamingos. The region still has a strong bullfighting tradition. The three-pronged fork or “trident” at the top resembles the tool used by local manadiers (cowboys) for herding bulls, while the anchor resonates with the local fisherman’s culture.

If you've fallen for this little emblem like I have, here is a new hand drawn stamp I've recently added to the Rocks de Vie etsy shop, as well as a Faith Hope & Love art print with the anchor. 

 

Photos & Designs by Andrea Peterson.

Travel Style: Manhattan Beach

Coral, grey, midnight blue, grey, seaglass... This could be my favorite color combo yet! When in Manhattan Beach, do as the locals do & wake up early for a workout by the beach. Run along the water's edge (try Manhattan pier to Hermosa pier, 3 miles round trip), head to a yoga class at the Green Yogi or Beach House Yoga, or bike along the strand and see if you can spot a some a few AVP beach volleyball pros practicing. Reward yourself after with a latte at Two Guns (located on the MB pier & up on PCH) and splurge on an almond croissant, baked on-site while you were still in bed.


Vinyassa Scarf: Lululemon $48  |  Lavaprint Zip Bra: Sweaty Betty $70  |  Yoga Mat: Athleta $64  |  Rose Gold Headphones: Athleta $200  |  Glass Water Bottle: Athleta $20  |  Nike Roshe One Premium: Nike $100

TRAVEL STYLE NO. 1: RIO DE JANEIRO

So excited for the Opening Ceremonies tomorrow night and to cheer on all the USA athletes in Rio! What better way to kick it off on the blog than with these stylin' red, white & blue finds. I want them all, especially the cute charm bracelet by Alex & Ani which you can customize with your favorite sport charms.


1) Racerback Tank Dress: J. Crew $59.50  |  2) French Bikini Top: J. Crew $54  |  USA Baseball Hat: J. Crew $49.50  |  Sea Mist Texturizing Spray: Herbivore $20  |  Beach Tote Bag: Everlane $35  |  Indigo Yoga Towel: Athleta: $64  |  USA Charm Bangle: Alex & Ani $32  |  Adidas Climacool Fresh Bounce Shoes: Adidas $80