Friday, October 17, 2008

Back to the Summary of Our Summer

To finish catching you up on our summer travels, here's a bunch of photos from our trip to Marseille, France.

It wasn't a trip we'd planned on taking at all, it totally came out of nowhere. A family who works with the same mission organization as we do were interested in coming to Scotland for their vacation. They wanted to do a vacation home swap, so we figured it was a pretty great opportunity we should take advantage of. I mean seriously, free accommodations, free use of a car, and really cheap flights through Ryan Air; how could we pass that up?!

Providentially, the timing of the trip was pretty perfect. When we agreed to go on this trip, we had no idea how badly we would need a week to totally relax and have nothing at all to do, no schedule, no one to be responsible for, no plans to make.

This trip was great, but lots of work. This part of our trip to America was awesome too, but it was exhausting. Then there was this, which needless to say, totally wrecked us. The school year for the kids in Dornoch began the day after we returned from France, and with it, began all of the events we lead for kids here. So it was fabulous to have that week in Marseille, before we jumped back into our regular work schedule.

We spent a lot of time on the beach. This was our first experience with French beaches

A view overlooking that same beach

It's hard to tell from this angle, but this is at the edge of an intense cliff (how incredible is that water?!)

Didn't I tell you? That's a cliff!

An area of downtown Marseille called Vieux Port (Old Port)

I don't remember the name of this structure, but it's includes a portion of the original wall around Marseille.

Here's James, looking perplexed, on top of the structure looking out on the port.

Here's me, enjoying the gloriousness of wearing flip flops and tank tops (doesn't happen much in Scotland)

This is the Notre-Dame de la Garde. It sits on top of the highest natural point in Marseille. I can attest to that because we walked up some seriously steep city streets to get to it.

We made it to the top and had a rest.

The inside was really impressive

There were tons of really cool streets like this that were super close together and curvy. I loved them. See that guy in the bottom corner with the fresh baguette in his back pack? You really do see tons of people carrying around their recently purchased fresh baguettes like that. It seemed like a very French thing to do.

There were several nights when we sat on the porch of the condo we stayed in and watched some amazing sunsets.

The second beach we went to had streets that reminded me of Miami

It was so windy that day, sitting on the beach meant getting blasted with sand constantly (it was the kind of sand that is actually just little rocks. ouch.) so we found a spot on the other side of the boardwalk in the grass.

It still felt like the beach though, because we were this close to the ocean

The next day we decided we needed some exercise so we took a hike to the base of some calanques (think "cliffs")

This is the view about half way down to the base of these calanques. See that little island rock formation in the middle? We saw people cliff diving off of those while we were sitting on the smaller rock that is directly to the left of the island

Almost at the bottom!

Self taken fave.

In the top right of the photo is a close-up of the rock-island you saw in other picture

Further to the right there's a little cove where lots of people were swimming

For all you Richmonders, this is Marseille's Pony Pasture.

You'll have to forgive my horrible video skills, I'm not sure why I thought that the camera angle would magically change if I simply moved the camera vertically.

The last beach we visited is in Cassis, a picturesque town. As you can see, the beach in Cassis is not popular at all. Don't look too close, you might see some topless sunbathers. French beach-goers reserve the right to leave their clothing at home. For those of you who don't know us well enough to know, and are wondering what we did, you can be assured, we chose to remain clothed.

More of those curvy, narrow streets I love.

We sat for a while in a courtyard surrounded by these amazing trees

Another one of my favorite kind of photos

The End!


Andrea said...

Breathtaking! Thanks for sharing.

Glenda said...

Wow! Looks like an amazing trip! Just the places you've been able to go and see, the memories you're making. I love it!

Amy said...

Wow! Such a beautiful place! What a blessing to get to go there... it looks totally relaxing and amazing. Also I love the before and after pics of the candy at the sleepover in your post below. The idea of that much candy makes me sick now, but I faintly remember being able to eat massive amounts as a kid... but still... wow!

Brooke said...

Hey, I don't know if you remember me (Belize blog?) but I saw this post- I have some of these exact pictures from Marseille- I think they're under the 'Europe' tab, but it was so unreal when I saw these, I had to tell you. My great Uncle-in-law-ish is French and lives there!