So, now I bring you the next installment of the trip which is the beautiful French Riviera and Provence. I will be keeping the talking to a minimum and let the photos speak for themselves (not trying to say I’m a great photographer or anything, just the scenery is…well… better than words)
We started the day with Julien and Virginie at their place and drove started driving towards Marseille along the Côte d’Azur (Azure Coast). It was a crystal clear day so perfect weather for mountain watching. Our first glimpse of spectacular was when we started climbing the mountains just west of Toulon and looking back on the city. The temperatures hadn’t warmed up properly and there was still a bit of a haze over the city but we still got a good look at the surrounding mountains. We continued along this mountain pass until we got over the ‘peak’ and got a look to the other side of it more towards Bandol and Ciotat. The view that … The scenery before us… The specular that confronted us…. No, I cannot put into words what we saw. It was pure beauty. Perfectly still waters with the clear currents weaving themselves across the Mediterranean and the sun reflecting with only the vaguest shimmer off the water. The hills themselves were a mixture of a deep green of the scrubland and the white and grey of the rocky limestone outcrops standing guard over the blanket of the sea. Now I’m not usually one to talk so much fluff when writing but that just goes to show how much this view moved me. Photos will never compare but here is something to go by I guess.
We stopped a couple more times on our decent and then on through the town of Cassis. We only drove through Cassis but considering the fact that Julian called it a village and that on Google maps it looks like nothing, this was a bustling little place (doesn’t matter if it’s called a village, town or city).
After some driving along the motorway, we got into Marseille where we dropped off our bagged at the hotel and headed out to a restaurant that is just around the corner from where Virginie grew up. Virginie’s mum was waiting for us there when we arrived. We ordered some couscous which was pretty mighty fine and got served with a veggie stew and (for me) lamb kebab sticks. When we were all full up on delicious, cheap cuisine, we started our walk to the train station just to buy our tickets for the train trip the next day. From there we walked down to the harbour through our first old town for the tour. I’m not going to lie, it wasnt much of an old town. We probably went to the wrong part but at any rate it lead us to the harbour which was our ultimate destination. The harbour area was busing with activity and would have been packed had it been summer but because of our choice timing, it was not 🙂 . There is a tourist road-train that takes you up to a couple of different parts of Marseille that are work seeing and we took the one that takes you to the Cathedral at the top of a hill that looks over the whole town and surrounding area. From there we had a fantastic view. Made the whole town just seem as if it wasn’t even real and just a picture or a miniature model that someone had built. It’s hard to believe when standing on top of the world like that, that there is a million odd people busy living there daily lives as if I don’t even exist. Which just seems crazy because the town looks so still and peaceful
When the next road train left, we jumped on it and headed back to the hotel where we had some dinner and stuffed around for a while before going to bed.