Toulon France and more

1. Toulon, in comparison is like everyday France in the big city. Of course there are cathedrals and old cobblestone streets, like most places I have enjoyed over the past 4 plus weeks in south of France.
Huge industrial port city, with very high end yachts – huge and lazing about in the marina, next to hundreds, maybe more – privately owned sail boats and other water craft belonging to ?? Hundreds of masts are seen to be moving ever so slightly with the gentle breeze here today. Mostly white hulls can be seen, with splashes of dark and bright blue and red contrast colours. Also in view must be twenty or more large military vehicles sharing the port space.
As we sailed in this morning we noticed an NCL ship coming too. On the hull painted a mermaid …. so I can check to see which ship that was. I can’t see it now so perhaps it will come in to view again as we set sail within the next half hour for Spain.  
After a wonderful room service breakfast, Jane and I sauntered toward town. We were on search for internet wifi to start. In the info booth and cruise terminal building we found right away the free Weefee we were seeking and were able to catch up and delete some emails from the last few days. We posted on Facebook knowing our family and friends can catch up that way and know we are OK. I post 7 blog posts that I had been writing … this one will be posted tomorrow from Spain.
And then we followed the cobblestone pathways through the huge outdoor market selling variety of clothing for men, women and children … as well as fresh produce, knock off bags and purses, shoes, boots, cheeses and meats, and of course beautiful bouquets of bright flowers. Jewelry, hats and scarves also are seen to be hanging about the booths. No vehicles in this roadway at market time.
We found window shopping delightful and a full on market, up and down the streets. It was well after lunch time, maybe 1 pm when the market started to fold up. Tables put away, items stored in bins and carried away to the vehicle loading areas.  
They flushed out the streets after the market closed. Several large trucks and hoses being operated by working men. We had to get out of the way as we were trying to return to the ship for a late lunch snack. We missed the buffet however there was food at the Waves Cafe grill area around the pool.  
Nice, Cannes and Monte Carlo seem to be more “up market” if you get my drift. More top end shops and certainly stores selling higher priced items, and or charging more for the same items we found today in Toulon. Note to self, if shopping in France is the desire, it is worthwhile checking towns such as Toulon (likely less touristy than the others, certainly less known) would offer better value for the tourist dollar. The locals looked more ordinarily dressed.  
In Paris, Nice, Cannes etc as mentioned above, the locals walked about in high heeled designer shoes and boots, donning colourful silk scarves about their necks, and dressed like Canadians would for a wedding and or special night about town, or alternatively a very important job interview at a high end designer store 🙂 Not so in Toulon, that we saw.  
I realize we did not go far into town at Toulon and we did not do the mall shopping experience at Galleries Lafayette …. we wandered market streets and small locally owned boutique shops along the same streets. This town may not be memorable in the long term, however it is the last wander through the alleys of France for this year for me. 
I have been in France since 5 October 2015 and today is 4 November. I have been in France every day in that time, and most if not all days at least was at the grocery store, or many other walks through towns in Sud de France.
Palm trees still line the streets in this large city of Toulon and there are major touristy vendors offering their services to passersby. Is it always like this? or just when cruise ships are in town? Do cruise ships visit this port year round?  
Relaxing for a few hours now before we set sail and enjoy another fun evening on the ship with our friends. I think I will do some reading.
Au revoir France! See you again another time …. I would love to do this villa and cruise combination in years to come. Maybe Jane and Michael, could join Steve and I and perhaps mom and Jim …maybe John and Cindy? and or my lovely daughters might enjoy spending time with their significant others 🙂 Maybe …….
ciao for now, on to Spain!
Pamela, formerly of France 

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