Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cassis and the Calanques

Well, we got to the small town of Cassis, on the coast, either Saturday or Sunday 22nd--can't quite reconstruct that.  It's another place with windy, narrow streets, where our megabus couldn't go, so we wound up taking another 'noddy train' down the hill into the village.

It was another of those suddenly too-hot days in France, but we walked right to the waiting boat, and after that apparently boat-mandatory cloud of blue-white exhaust fumes, we were pulling out of the harbor, cruising along the coast.  Pat had already received info that off to our right was a Michelin Star Restaurant, there with an orange roof a ways down the coast from the town.  Pat assured me this was something to be impressed with.

Past this, we moved past and through various "calanques," which our friend wikipedia tells us are steep limestone inlets, which essentially "can be considered a Mediterranean fjord." 
We also learned from our captain, via Liz's translation, that a distinct species of pine grows on this unlikely surface.
The calanques themselves provide isolated spots for boats and a few hardy, limber climbers who can reach the water.


[and here, if I get the video to work, will be a rousing, spontaneous rendition of our new theme song, by Patti, Pat, Tonya and Ann--well, almost spontaneous, for remarkably, even out on the water, Tonya's cellphone could google the full lyrics, which begin,

 Just sit right back
And you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from this tropic port,
Aboard this tiny ship.

The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
The Skipper brave and sure,
Five passengers set sail that day,
For a three hour tour,
A three hour tour.
The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The Minnow would be lost.
The Minnow would be lost.

The ship set ground on the shore
Of this uncharted desert isle
With Gilligan,
The Skipper too.
The millionaire
And his wife,
The movie star,
The professor and Mary Ann,

 After our cruise, we had a couple hours for a leisurely walk around town, or the beach.  Several looked for the local specialty dinner, sea urchins, but though David and the Musketeers had a mound of seafood, alas, sea urchins were out of season.  I bought postcards, had a Grand Marnier crepe, and later Grand Marnier gelato.  The gelato was probably the day's winner...

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