Coffee in effect, Navigation working and heading our of Lyon with sunny skies.
Direction South to Marseilles with maybe a quick pick of from the famous Nougat region of France.
There is a very large and vast amount of sweet treats at stop Montpellier and much like blue footed chicken region here it is renown for its nougat. Highly worth the stop and your friends and colleagues will like you this much more when you bring them back some sweets (hint, hint).
Marseilles is a whole other feel on life where everything is more tight, sometimes chaotic (driving in OMG), but with a lot more interesting colours. You don’t really have the Grand Boulevards of Paris, and it is not as clean as Lyon. Not that it is dirty but rather just used more which adds to the charm and character, but behind every corner there is just the most beautiful scenes that force you to just stop and gaze.
Each little street often has either a view down the the harbour or into the mountains.
Then there is the charm that out of the narrow streets the flowers just seem to grow out of rocks above your head.
Back to Mama shelter Marseille as this was simply a little stretch of the legs from driving down and perhaps a little rest for the next day, and let the Snapfamily get a rest.
Morning starts early and of course the Germansnap being German drives all Snaps down for breakfast. You don’t want a miss a meal especially when you are about to explore the city.
One thing that is really interesting about Marseille is just the shear colour the city has to offer. It is a real genuine feel and not some artificial or out of placed forced colour. Sort of hard to explain but walking down to the harbour you can find fountains, plazas, bridges. I think the pictures speak for themselves and they are at every turn……
Around the harbour you can also find many places to grab some mussels and Bouillabaisse but as one good French girl told me if it is too cheap it is not quality, as you just can’t make things below a certain price. Perhaps that is one of the things I like in France is that they appreciate quality and understand the full understanding that expensive does not always equal good but you just can’t make top quality at too low a cost. It shows in many things from clothes to food, to art.
Walking from the harbour back up towards the hill also goes through some very interesting and unique neighbourhoods where you can find local cafes, bars, bistros, etc. Of course there is also hints of UR for the true Detroit Techno Fans 🙂
The last part of this climb we also managed to find close to the hotel some treats to take back to the hotel before we called it a night…
40 The BIG FOUR OHHH! WAKEY WAKEY!!
IT’S BIRTHDAY DAY
Having walked a marathon yesterday and not wanting to be too dead for our special dinner later we took it easy around the Hotel. Of course it was sunny and there is a great backyard at MamaSnaps. Didn’t take Monsieur Snap too long either to find his own little place and of course if it is someones birthday it is also his. So watch out if you have a birthday and he figures it out as it will become his birthday. Ya that’s Snaps for ya.
Before you knew it a few hours melted away and it was time to clean up, get tip topped for our Michelin dining experience at L’Epuisette celebrating my 40th, and Monsieur Snaps 4000th well closing our last night in Marseille.
The view speaks for itself and the dinner which was fresh from the sea around was simply impeccable. I could only recommend with my highest regards making a special reservation for dinner here. From a truly excellent sommelier Bruno Dukan to an amazing chef and servers. Absolutely a memorable experience and the 1973 Armagnac to end the evening with could not have been a better year.
After one of the best nights and dining experiences in my life it was time for our last destination in Cannes with our sleeping quarters at the world famous Carlton.
Of course there is the very friendly doorman and the not so friendly (down right rude), pretend to be classy rich people who will blow your mind in their attitudes and lack of taste. Think flashy rental cars, big watches, name brands plastered all over their clothes that don’t fit their fat bodies and the ability to not know how to use a knife and fork and you get the picture. The simple satisfaction is you know they overpay for everything by a very huge amount for a substandard.
Still there is something special about being able to have cocktails and dinner well looking out to the sea with tropical palm trees and flowers.
Yachts that cost more than a plastic surgeons salary in Hollywood to fill up with fuel for the week are stacked through out the harbour. Small beaches with cars behind you also in abundance.
After the little walk around in the pleasant weather which was neither too hot or cold we headed back to our room.
Notice the Rentals 😉
The Room itself was of quality and I must commend the concierge as he was an absolute gentlemen with very good advice on where to eat around, and just a general pleasure to speak with. However considering this room will cost you two to three times as Paris, or 6 times the price as Berlin with a third the space the old 1980s CRT TV just was laughable. Good value for money does not come into play here.
The bed though was extremely comfy with a down topper, and the room had high ceilings. Bathroom was very clean with no dust even under the toilets or sinks. Everything was polished and when the doors where shut it was dead silent, even with the AC on.
Breakfast was a very large buffet style and everything available was of a very high quality, except the typical crap quality coffee that we had in France. Not the worst coffee by any means but not to our normal standards. However there is something special about sitting out on the terrace in the morning sun out on the sea. Can’t argue that is a nice plus point well watching the waiter poor coffee all over douche de jour’s hand bag 😀 No really I honestly felt bad for the couple that happened to. Really I did.
Breakfast done, Valet called >Monaco for a little day trip before driving home.
Monaco is sort of what I would have imagined Cannes should have been. It is very clear this is a place of money and in someways it is more interesting as it is built on the hill sides so there is some interesting views. Still with the exception of a few material things that cost a fortune I found the place rather try and uninteresting. Basically just another place that shows what money can buy but nothing of real cultural significance. Clubs where you know douche bags will be listening to some pop remix to a sampled 909 drum machine beat.
Ok maybe I am being a tad hard as the Japanese garden is rather pretty and it is really something how you can live on the edge of a mountain and look out at the sea. Maybe if I was hiding my taxes I could live here also as Italy really just over the hill and France around the corner. Weather is also very moderate and nice.
Basically straight after Monaco we made the rather long ride back driving through Italy and Switzerland before hitting Germany. Sadly there is no pictures recorded outside of our minds in these sections but I will say some of the most epic views of the Alps really left me with out words. Pictures just do not do these mountains justice and how amazing they are. Also when coming from Italy into Switzerland the Villas and landscape is truly of the highest calibre. What we did not expect was shortly after hitting Switzerland would be the insane rain storms that accompanied us back to Dresden, and the flooding because of this.
The South of France was a journey we had planned after our wedding and for many years before. Always that place you thought you wanted to go and once there a rare place that exceeded my ideas and perception. Marseille is one of our favourite places in the world and we can not wait to be back there in just over a month from now. Yes it took two years to finish writing this, and there was some losses of the first, draft, pictures, etc, and heck it may not even be fully perfect in formatting but in my mind this journey has never ended and I can feel the nice glow from France always shining away in my soul.
Of course it was the best way I could have spent my 40th with my Snap family and Snap Wife.
Thanks for taking this special travel with us,
Canadian Snap 🙂