Our travel along the coast began with our first stop in Marseilles to visit Boris’ dear friend, Marc. The city is known for its strong pride among its residents especially for its local football team. There is no doubt what a beautiful city it is, especially around the old harbor. Unfortunately, as you enter the city, you will soon learn how chaotic it is. As always, I enjoyed listening to Marc’s enthusiasm about the city of Marseilles and trying to get me to like Pastis, a favorite drink among locals. Thank you Marc and Alexiane for hosting us!
A visit to Marseilles could not be complete without seeing Cassis, which is about 20 km east. We chose the scenic route on La Gineste where you get a sweeping view of Marseilles from the mountaintop. As you continue further along the road, where the houses start to get grander, you know you have arrived in Cassis.
Even road tripping in France is different from in the states. I got accustomed to making frequent mandatory breaks for coffee and rest versus stopping only when needed. Our next mandatory break brought us to the village of Bormes les Mimosas, which is known for its flowers used to make perfume. We had a pleasant stroll through the village and to the church on top of the hill.
By this time, I have passed out in the car for a few hours and have awoken to the sounds of the popular French Riviera. As I opened my eyes and try to gaze out the window, I was instantly swept away by the Cap Esterel. On the right side were just beaches and the blue sea. The entire left side was orange rock and it reminded me of Arizona. This had to be one of my favorite scenic parts and now I understand why people would give up the sandy beaches and settle for rocks.
Famous for holding an annual film festival, we wanted to see Cannes. While the old town was nice, the main avenue was heavily commercialized. Before visiting Cannes, it is probably useful to know that it costs about 50-80 euros to rent a beach chair for the day.
With less expensive beach chairs (not by much), Nice is a better option to stay overnight. Our generous friend, Megan, shared with us her grand hotel room with waterfront views. It’s been a while since we have experienced something that luxurious so I couldn’t help but admire the details of the room, especially the free chocolates. At night we went to a nearby restaurant and because our food took a little longer than it should, we got free drinks and appetizers. We love the service in Nice!
Merci Megan for visiting us and for a great trip. Let’s do it again soon!