Second train, Marseille to Nice
I made my transfer despite my first train a bit late in arriving. I find the monitor and locate my next gate. A. Then I find the car for first class, not well marked at all. No assigned seats I grab one fast as they are filling up around me.
My arms ache from pulling bags and I vow, again, to take less next time. Luggage stored where I can see it.
Facing the wrong way, single seat I nestle in. Listening to French dialogue of other guests.
I read a bit, watching and listening and enjoying the blue sky and sea view from my window seat.
Arrive at Toulon. I realize I dropped off to sleep, lightly, in the sunshine for just a moment, iPad on my lap. People depart, more arrive. Back on schedule to next stop. I will be in Toulon in a few days on the cruise ship. The names all sound so familiar to me already from studying the maps and reading books of France over recent weeks.
The scenery takes my breath away, I gasp slightly at the green surroundings with stone outcroppings of what used to be castles, chateaux and villas. Small towns and terra cotta roof tops, church steeples and tall grasses surround me. Cloudless sky overhead. Timeless and ancient, fertile and cultivated, vineyards and farmlands. Mamma Mia … Next town coming up! Train has slowed to new rhythm and I am awake for whatever I can witness.
Graceful waterways, gentle rivers … High flying flocks of birds frolicking in the breeze and air passages. We pass by and along roadways and I can see life going on as usual in the rural areas. Parking lots of small europecars near stations.
Sounds a bit like Avignon,,, but it is les arcs draguignon? Hmmmm, no familiar.
Beautiful, rougher mountainous or hilly rocky surroundings, still plenty of tree varieties and still some vineyards. Picturesque. Stucco and stone sided homes and farm buildings. Centres of towns marked by spires and clock towers. Old archways of stone, barely attached to any permanent structures but standing strong. Sunshine gleaming at 417 pm. Apartment type buildings close to train stations in larger centres. Saint Raphael is this stop. Familiar music fills the air indicating a train is arriving. Safely now …. Some off, some on.
And away we go. Palm trees and trees with wide flat tops and long slim trunks almost like mushroom shapes.
The sea is so close I can almost hear the gentle waves and feel the sunshine sparkles on the surface. I hope to swim tomorrow …. Just to be one again with the salty sea. Home! Omg… How beautiful is this site … Côte d’Azur …. Sailboats, lighthouses, hotels … Peach stucco, white sails and surf, sea blue, golden sun foliage green, black and rust stone shore line. A kayak glides by, adding a splash of vibrant red. I fall in love again with this area of the world.
People swimming! I can see them now … As we enter the beautiful city of Cannes. I have been to this beach town a few times … It is sunny and beautiful as I remember. Oh, how exciting to be back!
Mostly young people on the trains, I notice. Couples in love, early twenties and some solo travellers like me. So many very well dressed, high boots and shoes, slim slacks or skirts, beautiful coats, well coiffed hair and just-so makeup. I always feel a bit like I could make more effort when I travel here. Lol. I sent home my boots so donning runners but also bling on fingers and wrists and my heart around my neck. Next stop Antibbes. Then Nice! 451 pm
Second train, Marseille to Nice