As I mentioned in my last entry, we made Aix-en-Provence our “home base” and decided to explore further south the next day. It was perfectly sunny and we wanted to be as close to the sea as we could. I dont know what it is about the water but nothing makes me happier than to be close to it so when I have views of the shimmering sea AND it’s sunny it’s a double treat! I’m a summer baby (Aug) from Dubai so the sun & sea are in my blood. N is a winter baby (Dec) brought up in Lausanne so I’m not sure what his excuse is… maybe the Lac Leman but happily we share that same earthly pleasure and dream of owning a house over the Mediterranean somewhere. *sigh* someday I hope… imagine waking up to a deep blue shimmering sea like this, having breakfast on a terrace watching the sun bounce off the waters, kissing your skin a golden tan… *sigh*
Ok, back to reality.
For anyone whose looked at a French map in some detail, in the southeast part of the country lies a small city called La Ciotat. We drove all the way there as a means of getting to the crowning jewel that is Cassis. We travelled up and down winding roads, hilltops and rich maquis. Let me tell you the longer drive was so incredibly worth it! Cap Canaille is situated in what is known as the Bouches-du-Rhône area on the Mediterranean Sea between La Ciotat and Cassis. It sits at 394m and is the highest sea cliff in France. Most of the landscape photos you see were taken from up there.
That day was easily the best part of our little 3-day Easter weekend. The drive there was just spectacular with incredible views of the sea from above. We couldn’t bear to be outside the car for more than 5 minutes at a stretch because it was sooo cold and sooo windy but the few photos we snapped were so so worthwhile. You will see a crazy rock climber in one of the pics…the brave man was resisting the insane wind and climbing down the very (very, very, very) steep edge of the plunging cliff.
We finally made our way down and after an hour (I kid you not!) of driving around itty bitty Cassis looking for a parking spot, we resigned to parking about 15 minutes away and taking the navette to the centre ville. We fell in love with it instantly. Beautiful, quaint, multi-colored buildings cast against a string of bobbing boats and the deep blue sea. The port was swarming with people. We had a delicious seafood lunch and then took a boat to admire the stunning calanques. It was a wonderful boat ride and I even managed to do some boutique shopping and eat ice-cream outside in the sunshine before heading back to Aix-en-Provence for our adorable dinner at La Cerise Sur Le Gateau.
This little gem is a must-do. If you’re ever in the South of France, make sure to stop by…and take the longer route through Cap Canaille. I promise you, you won’t regret it.
For more on Aix-en-Provence, see my last post here.