Europe, France

Just Food and Jackets…Marseille

So, I know I said the other day was one of my favourite days, well today topped that by quite a bit. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was easily 25 degrees. Stinking hot and a perfect day to go hike the National Park. Super easy to get there by bus and train. Once we got there, there was literally no signs whatsoever to say where to go for the hike. We were briefly told by our tour guide yesterday how to get there, what to look for and which way to go. Well, you end up in a parking lot between schools in the middle of a roundabout with about 6 different directions to go. So once we conquered that, the hard part was truly over. Just kidding. It was quite the hike, I’d call it intermediate. You do require a decent pair of shoes (basketball shoes worked most of the time) and definitely snacks and water as there is nothing once you get into the hike of course. There was no shade really, just in a few areas so I was really wishing I had wore my buff or brought a hat cause that sun was deadly. Our tour guide told us to pack jackets so that’s what we packed, which was ridiculous LOL. But would make sense him being a local and everyone here on days like today are rocking scarves, leather jackets and heavy winter coats. Here I am in a tank top and leggings sweating like crazy. Foreigners. Most of the walk was through gorgeous sheer white cliffs and lush foliage. The trail was fairly simple and easy to use. Unless you want to cut through and skip the winding and zig zagging road to get all the way down it’s, quite simple. There were gorgeous look outs on the way down that made for some pretty amazing pictures and selfies of course. All the while your destination is the water. We weren’t told there were swimming spots so we didn’t bring bathing suits or towels. Just food and jackets.

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It was such a beautiful hike and we were so eager for the water at the end, just to dip our toes into. Once we got almost all the way down we were looking into a tiny triangle shaped beach that was completely full capacity with about 20 people lounging around. The trek to get all the way down was a little crazy too. We sat at the top of the cliff under the trees to relax from the hike down and eat some lunch. The entire time we watched tourist after tourist, families with kids and pets struggle to get down this cliff to the miniscule, crowded beach below. It was looking less and less appealing to the both of us. After stuffing our faces we decided to skip it and keep going to the next cliff and see what else lies ahead. We got to the top of the other cliff and down to our left was an amazing rock bluff, triple the size of the other beach and with about 7 people lazing around. So we climbed down along the rocks fairly easily to the bottom and grabbed a spot overlooking the water on a long narrow bluff. A spot we could easily jump into if we wanted to. We parked ourselves there and tried to take in the beauty that was lying in front of us. The fresh ocean breeze, the turquoise hue of the water and the midst hitting our faces from the waves washing up against the bluffs. I think its fair to say both of us had a moment of “how lucky are we” at some point today during this experience.

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Well, the water looking this gorgeous, we couldn’t NOT jump in! We figured, whatever, we’re in Europe, no one cares. And turns out, they didn’t. We stripped down to our skivvies and jumped in a few times! It was cold and somewhat took your breath away but totally worth it. Climbing back onto the rock was a lot of fun and I’m sure many people behind me got a great view of my pale Alberta white bum, but no one complained (out loud) so I was all good! This may have been the saltiest water I have ever swam in. Im not really sure how to explain it other than you could actually feel the salt on your skin. When you got out of the water and dried, you could brush the salt off of your sunglasses or clothes. It was unbelievably refreshing and the best thing we have done so far. After relaxing for a while and doing a couple jumps, we decided to start the hike back. It was much hotter at this point and all uphill of course so it was quite the trek. As soon as we got back to the parking lot we caught one of the food trucks closing up for the day and snagged us a couple bottles of water. Headed back home to pick up some food for dinner tonight. Anyone visiting the south of France, I really think you need to stop by here for a day or two at least. Add Parc national des Calanques to the list, you will not regret it! If you’re coming in April, dont bother bringing a jacket…bring a bathing suit and towel πŸ˜‰

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