Today was my first for-pay "excursion", an organized tour complete with itinerary, the objectives being to see some new stuff without having to organize the logistics myself. It turned out quite well. I wanted to visit Cassis, a pretty little city grown up around a harbor, surrounded by some awesome hills/mountains. A different view of Marseilles was bundled with Cassis so that was the tour.
I won't dwell on the scenery, views, or ambience. The photos (see link below) speak for themselves. Non-visual stuff - there were three couples on the van, which was a 9-passenger van. One couple, older, from Santa Fe, a Spanish couple from <guess where!> and a Canadian couple from New Brunswick. The guy (Yves) spoke English fairly well, but his wife Brigette not so much. But we made out OK, with me speaking English to Yves and French to Brigette. Fun, no?
The photo-op stops were at a high cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the town of Cassis (delicious views), the second was at the harbor in Cassis - a Salade Niçoise in the sunshine, and the third high above Marseilles at the church seen from below in last Tuesday's photos, Notre Dame de la Garde. The rest of the hour or so in Marseilles was spent driving around and seeing the sights. Our driver had grown up in Marseilles so lots of local color, don't ya know.
The day was quite tiring and I actually dropped off for few minutes in the van, which let me recover enough to go to dinner with Kate again. She's leaving tomorrow for Avignon and new adventures. She's only in France for a week, so she has an itinerary more typical than mine.
That's the day in words, but the pictures linked below tell the real story of another sunny day in Provence.
Look from high above Marseilles and see the entire city here. (YouTube, about a minute.)