France 1964

grandmaRgrandmaR Major grinsSouthern Maryland Posts: 1,688Registered Users Major grins
edited October 2, 2013 in Journeys
Previous part of the journey http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=241238 in Spain

I had a problem getting from Granada to France because it was the summer vacay for everyone in Europe. So I ended up flying from Madrid to Barcelona on a night flight.

Since I got to Barcelona finally at 4 am, I didn't go to a hotel, but just to a train station. [Another thing I did not write to my mom. The taxi driver in the taxi that I got at the airport to go to the train station was extremely concerned about my safety in the station, which he said was overrun with gypsies, and the ticket windows wouldn't open until about 6 am. He had me stay in his cab until the ticket windows opened and I don't think he charged me anything extra for that. He was right about the gypsies]


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Very dark photo of the station

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August 3rd

I am safely over the Spanish border and have two remaining hurdles. One is to change trains at Narbonne, and the other is finding accommodations in Marseille.

There was no dining car on either the French or Spanish trains, so I bought a box lunch at the station. For 9.50 NF I got a chicken breast, 4 slices of French bread, a large slice of ham, an orange, banana and a lemonade. Changing at Norbonne became very simple. As our train pulled in and I got out (haven't seen a porter since I left Spain) another train pulled in on the other side of the platform and that was our train.

Aside from a few minutes confusion provided when a conductor said the train was "complet", everything went smoothly. (There were plenty of seats). I had a compartment first with a mother and two children --French, who had obviously just come from the seaside, and then with two old ladies. Another daughter also came later. I slept a lot on the trains as I didn't get much the night before.

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[What I remember of arriving in Marseille was that I had to carry my suitcase with me while I found a hotel, and I was too tired to walk far. The hotel I found made me quite uneasy, so I left my suitcase, and found another hotel that I liked better. Then I went back with the porter from the second hotel to translate and picked up my bag.]

The hotel I ended up in was the Bristol a three star hotel at 18, La Canebiere. That hotel is no longer there

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This was the view up the street from there

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I walked down to the port where I think the liberty boats come in. My room here is 21.27 NF a night, and I don't think it will be much more for 2. It has a double bed (there was a double bed in Spain too). If Bob doesn't take leave, maybe we will transfer a few blocks nearer the harbor. Cabs are much more scarce, and I presume much more expensive than in Spain.

My dinner last night (steak) cost 10 NF including tip. My breakfast will be 3 NF

At least this seems to me to be in the logical place for the ship's boats to come in. I have been unable to find out the French for "Fleet Landing"


Tuesday, August 4

Today the ships came into port

Here's one of the destroyers Med-moored

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Where the liberty boats come in

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We had dinner at the Aux Ombrellas along the beach, where we could see the sun go down and lights go on along the bay. We have rented a car and are driving around the Marseille area.

We have a Citroen 2CV which is really an incredible car. -- almost like a toy put together with rubber bands. ($5.00/day) and it is really a LITTLE car -- not height wise, it is about the same size as a VW and also has a roll-back top, but the interior finish has been put on with scotch tape and it drives like a golf cart. Bob says the engine is similar to a motorcycle or a lawn mower and he calculated that we get about 70 mpg [and the gear lever sticks out of the dashboard].

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I had Michelin books - and they told me that there was a high, middle and a low road along the coast. Anyway, we drove along middle road first

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Bob reading the map

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“"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”

Comments

  • grandmaRgrandmaR Major grins Southern Maryland Posts: 1,688Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 28, 2013
    thru fishing villages

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    and Toulon and to St. Tropez and

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    Ste. Maxime. We bought a loaf of French bread and some cheese and meringues and orange soda and had lunch by the wayside.

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    We have been advised not to drink the water here in Marseille.

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    There we stopped and had a swim. There was so much salt in the water that even Bob could float.

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    Then we drove back along the mountains

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    Toulon

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    -- in some places the pavement vanished altogether and once we met a logging truck and had to back down until we could find a place to pass. We ate dinner here and it was pretty good, at a sidewalk restaurant along the waterfront.
    “"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
  • grandmaRgrandmaR Major grins Southern Maryland Posts: 1,688Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 28, 2013
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    The next day we visited Avignon (the Pope's palace) This is the biggest Gothic palace in all of Europe. It was built in the 14th century and was completed in only 20 years by popes Benedict XII and Clement VI when Avignon was the seat of the papacy.

    At the time we visited, Avignon was not very well known and was off the normal tourist track. Thirty-some years after our visit, UNESCO designated it a "World Heritage for Humanity" site. Now, the Popes’ Palace is one of the most visited monuments in all of France

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    At that time the tours of the Pope's Palace etc. were exclusively in French and so not much of a success as Bob knows no French. The walls of the Popes’ Palace are flanked by four towers - some of which are 170 feet tall

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    From the Great Chapel there is an entrance to the loggia where through the large Fenêtre de l'Indulgence (Window of Indulgence) there is a view of the Great Courtyard. From this window the Pope used to give his blessing to the assembled faithful.

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    But we saw the famous bridge

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    "Sur le pont d'Avignon, L'on y danse, l'on y danse,"

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    According to legend, this bridge belongs to St. Benezet. As a young goatherd, Benezet heard a heavenly voice ordering him to go to Avignon. He crossed the Rhone by ferry, and in midstream announced that he was going to build a bridge. This was distressing news for the ferryman, who, bent on eliminating unfair competition, tried to toss Benezet overboard.

    Undaunted, he marched in to the Avignon cathedral and again announced in a voice loud enough to be heard over the Mass, his intention of building a bridge. He was ejected.

    He waited outside, repeating his story to the faithful, until the bishop, determined to prove that Benezet was an evil lying child, pointed to a huge rock, and asked the boy to pick it up. Benezet did so - lifting it as if it were a pebble.

    Convinced of the truth of the miracle, the city built the bridge. Over its second pier is the little Romanesque and Gothic chapel dedicated to St. Benezet, who later became a priest.

    The bridge was built between 1171 and 1185 (first in wood and then in stone). It was finally put out of use by a catastrophic flood in 1668. It was not destroyed by either one of the World Wars.
    “"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
  • grandmaRgrandmaR Major grins Southern Maryland Posts: 1,688Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 28, 2013
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    Roman site 'Les Antiques' of Glanum, with the The Mausoleum of the Julii, is one of the best preserved mausoleums of the Roman era.

    A dedication is carved on the architrave of the building facing the old Roman road, which reads:

    SEX · M · L · IVLIEI · C · F · PARENTIBVS · SVEIS
    Sextius, Marcus and Lucius Julius, sons of Gaius, to their forebears

    It is believed that the mausoleum was the tomb of the mother and father of the three Julii brothers

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    and the Arch (the oldest in France). It was built near the end of the reign of Augustus Caesar (who died in 14 AD). The upper portion of the arch, including the inscription, are missing.

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    I was interested in Les Baux because bauxite, the ore from which aluminum was extracted was discovered here in 1822 by the geologist Pierre Berthier (who named it for the city). I was told that Dante wrote his description of Hell based on the twists and turns of the rocks in the landscape of Les Baux

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    Cats over the doorway

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    When we were there it was in a ruined state.

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    But before Les Baux was finally overcome by France for nearly twenty years, Raymond des Baux waged the Baussenque wars (1145 to 1162), fighting the Count of Barcelona for the earldom of Provence. He was known as "the scourge of Provence" - he found throwing prisoners off the top of the castle to be an effective solution.

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    At the same time, Les Baux was also the location of the famous Courts of Love where poetry and song were occupations for the inhabitants.

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    The castle was destroyed by Louis XI (in 1483). The most famous governor was Constable Anne de Montmorency, embarked on considerable restoration work, and the town saw a return to splendour. The Constable had the Treasury archives transferred to the citadel from Aix, where they were under threat from Charles V’s troops.
    “"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
  • grandmaRgrandmaR Major grins Southern Maryland Posts: 1,688Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 28, 2013
    However, the castle and city walls were eventually destroyed under Richelieu’s orders because of the rebellious Protestantism of the Manville family who managed what had by now become just a barony. The ramparts were defended for 27 days but in the end they surrendered. Less than two hundred years later, Les Baux at last became the marquisate of the Grimaldi royal family of Monaco.

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    Now the village has been painstakingly restored and several buildings in the village are classified as "Historic Monuments

    Next we went to see the Roman ruins at Arles

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    The arena, the Roman theatre and the cryptoporticus (subterranean galleries) – date back to the 1st century B.C.

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    They were doing a fashion photo shoot in the Roman Theatre

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    This is me in my yellow nylon traveling dress, walking shoes and of course stockings

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    I'm climbing out of a tomb in the The Alyscamps which is a large Roman necropolis, which is a short distance outside the walls of the old town of Arles, France.

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    It was one of the most famous necropolises of the ancient world. The name comes from the Provençal Occitan word Aliscamps, who comes from the Latin Elisii Campi (that is, in French, Champs-Élysées; in English Elysian Fields). They were famous in the Middle Ages and are referred to by Ariosto in Orlando Furioso and by Dante in the Inferno.

    Roman cities traditionally forbade burials within the city limits. It was therefore common for the roads immediately outside a city to be lined with tombs and mausoleums


    We turn our car in with about 800 km or 500 miles on it.
    “"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
  • grandmaRgrandmaR Major grins Southern Maryland Posts: 1,688Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 28, 2013
    August 7, Friday

    Today we went to the Chateau d'If in a boat.

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    Looking back at Marseilles

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    It is famous for being one of the settings of Alexandre Dumas' adventure novel The Count of Monte Cristo.

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    I remarked at the time that people swam out there but I don't think I meant that they swam from Marseilles, just that they went there to go swimming.

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    And also they fished

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    There is a sign at the château now that says "Prison dite de l'Homme au Masque de Fer" (The prison known as the man in the iron mask), but this is likely only legend since the famed Man in the Iron Mask was never held at the Chateau d'If.

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    “"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
  • grandmaRgrandmaR Major grins Southern Maryland Posts: 1,688Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 28, 2013
    When we got back to the city

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    We went up the funicular

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    and could see the aircraft carrier

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    as well as the city

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    Bob looking down

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    I sent a lot of things with Bob and his bag was very heavy, whereas mine is much lighter. It was raining heavily when I left Marseille.

    Saturday August 8, 1964 I had a nice night on the train with a whole compartment first class couchette to myself. It is chilly in Paris this morning.

    I took a Cityrama tour of Paris in the morning

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    “"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
  • grandmaRgrandmaR Major grins Southern Maryland Posts: 1,688Registered Users Major grins
    edited September 28, 2013
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    “"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Posts: 21,301Administrators moderator
    edited October 2, 2013
    Sounds like a great trip!
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • grandmaRgrandmaR Major grins Southern Maryland Posts: 1,688Registered Users Major grins
    edited October 2, 2013
    Thank you for reading and commenting.

    Yes it was a nice trip.

    The last part of the trip is http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=241337

    which includes Versailles, Nuremberg, and Naples

    “"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
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