22 January 2010

Across the Toulon Bay

If I hadn't made a French friend, I would have never known
that the water taxis from Toulon only cost 2 Euros!

Toulon is on the eastern side of a large bay. The boat taxis go out about
every 15 minutes from the harbor and make the twenty minute trek to the
neighboring cities along the bay- Le Seyne & Saint Mandrier.

This day was particularly glorious. . .

Toulon fades quickly as the boat picks up speed. . .
good thing too because the skyline is unfortunately no Chicago folks!

Massive cranes busy in the foreground, giant mountains looming
in the background. . .man v. nature anyone?

The only one brave enough(well, besides me I guess) to man the biting
cold wind outside on the boat deck.
Everyone else was huddled inside wearing their parkas and reading the paper.

This massive Navy ship was nothing less than incredibly, totally and completely intimating-
it's size, shape, and overall militant feel. It clashes with the
beautiful, serene surroundings.
Along with tourism, the military has a huge impact on the town's economy due to
its close proximity to the Toulon port.

Saint Mandrier welcomed me with an oh-so-colorful arrival.
The land was originally an island- Isle de S├ępet. It was connected to the mainland
in the mid 1600's, which lead to the construction of the town.

A worker for the ferry to Corsica, enjoying the sun.

Each little boat has a cute little name.
Saint-Mandrier was home to sail-making in the 19th century. It is still a big
fishing village with loads of tiny, painted fishing boats.

Two bays created by the causeway to the mainland.
The hike up to the top opened up into a lush green wonderland with this view!

Many homes in this town have a space carved out of the stone wall for an old bell.
The walls that surround the houses are just high enough to ensure the optimum privacy, which the French lifestyle demands.

Adieu! Saint Mandrier- another little gem de France,
tucked away amongst the deep
turquoise ripples of the Mediterranean Sea.