S: FRANCE, September 2011
FC: FRANCE - September, 2011
1: Our version of trains, planes and automobiles........ and in our case, also ships | OUR TRIP TO FRANCE | Our journey begins.....
2: We arrived in Nice, after changing planes in London, England. We spent the afternoon and evening touring Nice and after an early dinner, we went to bed having been up for 33 hours.
3: The view from the roof top bar in our hotel, the Clarion Hotel Aston
6: This is the port of Monaco. The city is now very built up and full of condos.
7: We watched the changing of the guards at Prince Albert's castle.
8: We visited the Nice flower market a couple of times to see all the beautiful flowers.
9: A wonderful dinner in old Nice our last night before embarking on our cruise.
10: The famous French Riviera
12: Our ship was to leave Saturday, Sept.17 (Happy Anniversary). A storm was going through the Mediterranean so we stayed anchored in Nice until the evening of Sunday, Sept. 18. These are photos taken just off the ship.
13: Ray climbed a hill at the Nice port to take these photos of our ship anchored as well as private yachts in the harbour. Some seemed almost as big as our ship but no movie star sightings!
14: More views from the Nice port before we left on our cruise.
16: Azamara Club Cruises. "Journey" was the name of our ship. Fabulous room, service and relaxed atmosphere. About 650 people on board - very nice size. | Azamara
17: This was our Anniversary dinner and our waiter, Andre, made things very special with a cake presentation after our meal. | Nice port photo taken in the evening, just before we left for our 1 week cruise.
18: Breakfast was in our room on our little deck every morning. No dressing up for breakfast! This service was all part of the cruise.
20: Our first port of call.......
21: CALVI, CORSICA
23: We docked in the early morning and climbed to the top of the citadel and toured the old village. There were lots of little shops along the water, which we strolled through.
24: These are the old walkways around the citadel and the view from the top was amazing. We were a long way up!
26: These buildings built in the 1700's are still in use
29: This is Cathedral St. Jean Baptiste which is in the citadel village on the hilltop.
30: Our second port of call.....
31: PORTOFINO, ITALY
32: Some ports, like Portofino are too shallow for ships to enter so we were tendered into port with these boats. They are stored on our ship and dropped into the water when we arrive. There are two of them going back and forth all day long.
33: This is our view as we were tendered into port. This was one of our nicest stops.
35: Palatial homes and weird sculptures in a very pretty setting.
36: Shopping in Portofino before our noon time beer.
38: More sculptures in the port as we make our way back to the ship for a late lunch.
39: We arrived in time to see their world famous fish market in action. | Port # 3 | MARSEILLE
40: Notre Dame de la Garde sits on top of a hill with a magnificent view of the city. | Getting to the top was a real
41: Climbing to the Cathedral was an experience - about 200 steps, but well worth it.. We had a great view of Marseille and the church interior is beautiful.
42: This is a night view of Marseille's Cathedral and harbour. We sat on our balcony and had a night cap as we set sail and watched the harbour master take us safely out to sea.
43: SANARY SUR MER
45: It was market day when we arrived. Markets are big in France and each town/city has its own day established. Everything is fresh from spices to fish to pastries. Check out the small van decked out with "junk" to sell!
47: We spent the day shopping and sight seeing. The sun was setting during dinner as we made our way to St. Tropez.
48: Often, when our cruise ship entered or left port, our captain brought on board the local harbour master to help navigate the local waters . He boarded and left the ship with the help of a small crew and pilot boat.
49: Ship safety and rescue training exercises took a funny turn when this bikini clad beauty arrived out of no where to offer aid and assistance to our "drowning ship mate". He truly thought he had died and gone to heaven. and was seeing an angel.
51: S T T R O P E Z | We arrived in port early morning and this was the view from our balcony as we had our breakfast. We toured around the city but shopping was very expensive
53: The port area was filled with sculptures and there were artists painting and selling their work all around the waters edge.
54: This very real looking, full size bronze sculpture stands in the port area. . Behind the sculpture is a huge private yacht but once again, no star sightings.
55: This was our last night on the ship. Our bags were taken at dinner time so we were dressed for the morning train trip to Carcassonne. | A sailboat on tour and at night it was all lit up
56: C A R C A S S O N N E | We arrived at our historic B&B in La Cite, having navigated 3 sets of stairs with our luggage, endured two train rides, one hostile cab driver, more stairs through the castle tower, up a ramp, across the moat and finally a 3 block walk to the door and then more stairs to get to our upstairs rooms. WHAT A DAY!
58: This is the Cathedral in La Cite
61: Medieval Carassonne is a thirteenth century world of towers, turrets and cobblestones. Europe's ultimate walled fortress city.
64: These are views from inside the castle looking out into the courtyard
65: Notice the "wooden nails" used in the 1100's to hold everything together. The stain glass window is from the same period as well.
66: It was amazing to see how well this castle has endured. It was very well constructed and is one of the best preserved walled cities in Europe.
68: We spent our days strolling through the village, eating some great meals and doing a little shopping.
69: We had a towel heater in our room, so laundry day came and all of us hung our undies out to dry!
71: We detoured off the main highway to go and see this town on our way to Sarlat. | C A H O R S
72: ST. CIRQ LAPOPIE
73: This village is at the top of an overhanging cliff. We drove to the very top so we could tour the area. The view of the village and valley below was breathtaking.
74: S T C I R Q L A P O P I E
76: B E Y N A C | This is our B&B for the next couple of days. Amazing French couple who treated us extremely well with gourmet breakfasts, help with directions and nothing was too much trouble for them.
77: This is Chateau de Beynac. Richard the Lionhearted spent 10 years here during the Crusades. More recently, the 1998 movie, "The Messenger": The story of Joan of Arc was filmed here. Our B&B was just around the corner from here.
79: The bridge and Chateau de Castelnaud across the river, are both views we had from Chateau de Beynac.
82: More photos of the surrounding town of Beynac and the Chateau.
84: LA ROQUE-GAGEAC
85: This is a lovely town with one main street and houses built into the mountain all the way to the top.
86: DOMME | Another quaint little town perched on a mountain top.
88: S A R L A T
90: This market had everything you could possibly imagine. | These look like potatoes....but they are sausages!
91: We stopped and bought some amazing chocolate covered nuts from this gentleman. He then offered Ray and Don a "shot" of some very powerful firewater.
92: This couple were playing at the market and we loved their music so much, we bought some of their CD's.
93: As we made our way back to Nice, we returned to Cahors to take some better photos of this beautiful bridge., the most photographed bridge in France.
94: This is the walkway across the bridge. Until very recently, cars drove on this road.
95: We are headed back to Carcassonne for the night and then back onto our train for Nice. We expected the train trip to be uneventful and had planned a nice dinner for our last night in Nice before flying home.. Unfortunately, our train was stopped on the tracks for close to two hours. We arrived at our hotel after 8:00 pm and were shocked to learn that the train in front of us had been robbed, which was the reason for our delay. The next morning we flew to London Heathrow, and only made our Canadian flight connection with 2 minutes to spare due to slow security lines. We did however; arrive home safely and on time with wonderful memories of the places we had been.