Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hidden Gem in Cote d' Azur

Annette & I left the cool, breezy weather of Ireland behind for some much needed (for me at least) warmth & sunshine on the French Riviera. We discovered a fantastic gem on the coast just 20 minutes away from Marseilles by train. Cassis is a place I could return to again and again. There's not much to this town. However, you could spend a lifetime exploring Les Calanques by foot and by sea. And the town's old-world look is just as charming as the local people. Annette and I spent our first day getting a view of Les Calanques by sea. We took a boat tour to eight calanques and were completely inspired. So for the afternoon we decided to hike to the first three calanques. The guide book and tourist information office both said it was a hour and half walk to the third one. Well, we made it in that time frame to the second one, after a few wrong turns and cirles on the poorly marked trail. Once at the second one, Port Miou, we debated should we continue on to the third. We were pretty hot and tired at this point. Oh and did I mention we were walking in flip flops, swimsuits and dresses? We decided to continue on to the third which was a much more impressive beach by boat, En Vau. Another 20 minute hike (and I mean hike) to the top and we peered down a very steep climb down to En Vau. One step downward and my flip-flop broke. Thank goodness I was able to put it back together. Our poor footwear, and the decreasing amount of sunshine convinced us to turn back to Port Miou. So we got to our beach, just not the one intended. After a quick swim, we headed back toward town and fell asleep on a lovely beach by our hotel. It was a long, long day, but all in all a very nice one filled with adventure and sunshine which is what we came for in the first place.

The next day in Cassis was not nearly as exhausting. We got vineyard views and more sunshine until Richard arrived that evening with the rent car. And then it was on to Cannnes...

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