Thursday, May 16, 2013

Marseille, France

Le Castellet
Le Castellet
Le Castellet
Le Castellet
Le Castellet

We arrived in the Port of Marseille, Thursday, May 16, 2013. Marseille is located in southern France in the Region of Provence. Marseille, is an oldest city in France, established over 3000 years ago. My first early morning photo, took place at 7:30AM.
It was overcast, foggy and very cool, 57 degrees. Rain jackets were in order.
We booked a tour through Holland America and drove north through the bustling city of Marseille to Bandol. Bandol is a beautiful seaside resort. There is a great deal of wealth here, although there are many working fishing boats too. We walked for about an hour before returning to our motor coach. Flo, our guide said it never rains in Southern France and was very apologetic. She said, that wine is cheaper than water here. Many of the ornate water fountains were not in working order, do to the lack of rain. It was just a drizzle though and quite frankly, Mother Nature, could not possibly rain on my parade! 
We then visited Le Castellet, a medieval village, high atop a mountain. It was a stunning ride and the fog was starting to lift. A beautiful castle, complete with a church and courtyards, are now converted into shopping areas. Art galleries, shops and restaurants, lined the narrow cobblestone streets. We shopped for about an hour and still nothing has caught my eye to purchase, although there were many beautiful items on display, which I did photograph a few. 
Panoramic views of the countryside were breathtaking! Hundreds of grapevines and olive trees were visible. Orange poppies grew wild by the roadside. Most crops were a month behind because of the cold winter, however, there is never a frost here. The olive trees would die if there were three days of frost here, she said. There are three hundred days of sunshine a year in southern France. My wish to view lavender in bloom, would have to wait. Sigh!
Flo, told us stories and legends of old, adding to the mystique of this magical place. She suggested reading, A Year In Provence. Which I can’t wait to do!!!
A beautiful day, followed by a delicious dinner and then some musical entertainment, aboard ship. 
O God help me, reality is really going to be tough!

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hootnonny said...

The scenery is gorgeous. So sorry you won't see the lavender!

Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

What a beautiful place. Yes, real life is really going to suck when you return, so enjoy every second!

Jennifer Romand said...

Enjoy France for me.. Hope you have a wonderful time..

Deanna said...

Oh these images are breath-taking. That country-side and harbor oh my. I sure hope you put together a book when you return. What a lovely, lovely adventure you have been on.

Charlotte Wilson said...

Oh, I do wish you could have seen the lavender blooming. I have only seen it in photos and it is quite stunning!
You are providing me with a tour that I will probably never go on. Thank you!

She Who Carries Camera said...

I bet you didn't want to leave! Breathtaking!

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Everything looks amazing, beautiful and inviting - what a treat for oboe who enjoys using a camera like yourself. The first photo looks charming. Was it a residential window/shutters or a shop?

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