Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Les Calanques

So this place was the reason I picked to come here.  After we visited Marseille on our way to Barcelona, my cousin who had served her mission in France said that it was too bad I hadn't asked her for advice because she would have told me to not bother with Marseille but that the Calanques were amazing.  So I looked them up and saw the pictures and immediately decided I must go.

I was not let down.  It was soooo gorgeous.  Just spectacular--a feast for the eyes.  The only thing I would have done differently is leave earlier in the morning as there were hordes of people. 

This is Calanques de Port Miou, a short, easy walk from where we parked in Cassis.

This is the only shot I got of Calanque de Port Pin, about 20 minutes or so further.  It was really pretty, but we just took a short rest to have a snack and kept going on to the final destination.

This hike was not an easy hike.  Also, we are used to Switzerland's ideal climate for hiking--never too hot.  It was HOT.  And it was tough--I could feel my face just burning.  I was so glad that I had thought ahead enough to bring the other, smaller baby carrier thingee so that I could carry Orrin on my back.  Because trying to carry him without it would have been ten times harder, and he definitely had to be carried.  But it wasn't TOO long before we got to...

the descent.  This picture isn't close to accurate of how steep it was in some places, but it was exceedingly steep.  Not problematic, but took concentration.  Unfortunately this part was pretty lame because remember how I mentioned the hordes of people?  We were moving at a snail's pace because we had to wait for the line of people in front of us to go down the steep parts.

A nice person took a picture for us once we got down to level land again.  Jethro had gone on ahead so he's missing.  Schade.

We finally got there -- the beach was SOOOOOO crowded!!  We staked out a little free spot on some rocks and had lunch.  We had forgotten to bring a knife, so Brett cut our cheese with a rock, because he's innovative like that.  As soon as the kids all had a sandwich in hand, I took the camera and went to climb up some rocks for pictures.  (p.s. I decided I need to be a rock climber--there were many people actually climbing the cliffs around the calanques, and I felt like I would be very good at it after I scrambled up for my pictures)

Can you find my family?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Calanques d'en Vau.

Blessed be the longing that brought you here. And quickens your soul with wonder.
John O’Donohue, Benedictus

 Oh how I wished I had remembered to bring my wide-angle lens so that I could get the actual whole thing in one picture!  

So I was a complete and utter idiot and didn't think I would swim, so I didn't bring my swimming suit.  Then I saw the water and-- look at it!!-- obviously there was no way I was going to not swim.  So Brett and I shared his swimming trunks.  After he had his turn he changed back into his clothes and I wore his trunks and went in with my shirt on.  It was FREEZING!  But wonderful!

The sea! the sea! the open sea!, The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
– Bryan W. Procter

Hazely Bean.  (It was quite the feat to take a picture without a bunch of bikini-clad women in it.)

We also failed to bring swim trunks for Orrin. ;)

When Brett was swimming I hurried and climbed up the rocks a ways so I could get a good picture of him in that oh-so-beautiful water.

See him on the left (below)?

Jethro and Hazel were brave and swam out a ways with me.  It was so cold-- when I swam out I kept thinking, "I'm going to get used to it any time now..."

Talmage came out for a bit too.

Then we had to hike back up the steep stuff, but it was quite a lot easier than I had anticipated, mainly because there were a lot fewer people around at that time, and we could just go at our own speed (meaning faster than on the way down).

Such BEAUTIFUL blue!!  It just does something to make me feel so wonderful.  I read this on a blog once:
"I'm a firm believer that everyone has a place. 
Where the air fills your lungs just a little bit fuller and the sun shines a bit brighter on your skin. 
A place where your mind is clear, and your heart is full."

I think there might be something to that.  And I think my place is where I can see that beautiful blueness of the ocean.  I could stare at it all day.

Here's one last picture, from the internet, because it's nice. :)

The Cliffs of Casis - French Riviera, renowned for white cliffs, scientific harbors and wines. 
A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
-John Keats


Rachael said...

Oh my goodness!! So amazingly beautiful. I've read Peter Mayle's books a million times but still never made it to Provence...thanks for the photo tour!

The Haws Family said...

SOOOOOOO gorgeous!! That really is just incredible. But it makes me even more sad about my camera lens and the quality of pictures I'll be able to take when we make it to the beach.

Andrea said...

The ocean just doesn't do it for me--although your pics are stunning. I'm a mountains girl, through and through. When I'm up Big Cottonwood canyon and the Aspens are all white next to the greens of summer or the colors of fall, I never, ever, ever want to leave.

Rachel Giometta said...

can i send you a flat lindasy ann so i can be with you guys in spirit and card stock and enjoy it all with you guys too?? I'm not even going to wait for your response. flat lindsay ann (AKA: flat best aunt EVER!) is in the mail!!

Anonymous said...

can i send you a flat lindasy ann so i can be with you guys in spirit and card stock and enjoy it all with you guys too?? I'm not even going to wait for your response. flat lindsay ann (AKA: flat best aunt EVER!) is in the mail!!

Anonymous said...

sorry our friend was using our computer..haha

Christal said...

These are amazing so PRETTY!! what great shots!! and so so much fun!!

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