Thursday, October 27, 2016

France&Fez Day 8, Calanques, Cassis, and the corniche

We woke to a lovely Day on Monday, Oct. 1, our 8th day of travel.  The sun was calling, so we hit the road and drove east of Marseille through the Parc Nationale des Calanques.  Calanques are the French Mediteranean version of Norway's fjords: sea water flowing between limestone cliffs.  It was lovely territory, and the view of Marseille from up above the city was lovely, too.

From there, we headed to the lovely seaside village of Cassis.  The cliffs outside of Cassis are the highest maritime cliffs on the Mediteranean, and afforded wonderful views.  And the village made a charming spot for lunch.

On our way back into Marseille, we took the Corniche (the scenic seaside road) to its end on the east of Marseille, and enjoyed the sun and sea all the way.

After dinner, we would head on the biggest adventure of the trip: a two-night stay in Fez, Morocco.  We had just confirmed that very morning that our trusted friend and guide, J., would not be able to come with us, so despite my deer-in-the-headlights sensation, we headed to the airport that evening for our 10 PM flight, set to arrive around midnight in Morocco, sure that God had ordained something special for us. We were flying the discount service Ryan Air, and the whole flight was a surreal experience.  We were surrounded by a clan of happy, partying Moroccans, and the whole flight was a duty-free shopping time, with the stewardesses selling first perfumes, then handbags, then lottery tickets. We were met by a driver at the airport, after finding the ATM empty so we didn't have any local currency (dirhams).  The drive took us, in his non-air-conditioned car without seat belts, to the walls of the medina in Fez, where the manager of the Dar (large home) where we were staying met us, and guided us into the medina (old city).  It was about 15 minutes' walk from the wall, straight into the middle ages of narrow, winding streets.  We could not have left there on our own if our lives had depended on it! Most exotic date EVER!! More on our adventures there next time...

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