This morning at 7:00 we docked in Toulon, France. I wasn't ready to wake up at 6:00 this morning when the alarm went off. But I did. I watched us sail into the pretty harbor before dawn, took a shower, ate breakfast and at 7:30 I was off the ship and heading to Aix-en-Provence which is about 90 kilometers from Toulon. Below is the main square in Aix.
Aix-en-Provence was once a Roman town noted for its hot springs. Today it is a pretty little town full of narrow cobblestone streets. The square above is at the end of the Cours Mirabeau, a wide boulevard dotted with fountains and lined with tall sycamore trees.
We walked around the town. Visited a couple churches. Below is city hall and the town belfry beside it behind a tree.
We passed through a busy local market where lots of locals were doing their shopping.
It was a nice stop, lots of local atmosphere. In the tour description it said that we would be given some free time for lunch at the end of the tour. What I didn't know is that would be FOUR hours of free time. That was a bit much to explore this little town, and since it was Sunday a lot of things were closed. And there is only one bathroom in the entire town and it was broken and could not be used. It was also quite warm in the sun. So after a couple hours of walking around I found a shady spot to sit. It was on the side of one of the fountains. I sat there and watched the expensive cars drive by. I don't think there are very many poor people in this town. Of course the sound of running water behind me for two hours didn't help with the afore mentioned problem of no bathrooms.
We got back to the ship at about 4:30 and sailed away at 6:00. The picture below was taken during the sail away of the city of Toulon. I don't know if you can tell in the small picture, but there are a lot of navy ships docked here.
We are now sailing toward tomorrow's port of Livorno, Italy. Which is very near Florence and Pisa where most people will be going. But since I have already been to both of those places, I am going somewhere else. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out where.
I really love this new ship. It is the third largest ship in the world. The only two ships larger are those two monsters of Royal Caribbean. There are 4000 passengers and over 1300 crew onboard for this cruise. But you wouldn't know it. Nothing ever seems crowded. As I am writing this I am looking out my window watching the sun set. I will go out on the balcony and snap a picture for you.
The picture above was taken just a few minutes ago, at 8:45pm local time.
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