Thursday, October 6, 2011


Our first stop on our cruise was in Toulon, France. The one thing that I knew about Toulon is that it was the harbor where Napoleon launched his fleet for his Egyptian campaign in 1798. We arrived in Toulon after spending a rocky night on board. At on point I was dreaming that I was on a roller coaster. When I woke in the middle of the night I could feel the boat pitching back and forth. We were ready to go ashore!

Toulon turned out to be a quiet port town at the west end of the French Riviera. It would be a wonderful place to spend a winter vacation. It is only about 40 kilometers from Nice so you could easily drive there and spend the day but the costs of renting an apartment in Toulon is a fraction of what it would cost in Nice.

The first thing that we did when went ashore was to find a patisserie where we bought pain au chocolat.

Their pain au chocolat were wonderful, crisp and buttery on the outside, soft, warm chocolate on the inside.

After we visited the patisserie we walked through the market on our way to the tourist bureau where we picked up a map of Toulon that showed all the spots of interest.

This is the Toulon opera house where they show movies and stage live entertainment as well such as plays and opera and recitals. It is the second largest opera house in France.

We had lunch in at Place de la Liberte in front of the Grand Hotel. The fountain was magnificent. Unfortunately I could not find any information on the fountain but it is well worth seeing.

After lunch we explored the older parts of Toulon, wandering up and down the streets. There were a few sights that we found in the tourist pamphlet but we mostly had a good time soaking up the ambiance of Toulon.

During our wandering around Toulon we came across this monument to Jules Raimu who it turns out was a famous actor in the 1930's and 1940's. He was born in Toulon then made it big in the French cinema. These are the little gems that you find when you wander around new places.
As we made our way back to our boat I took pictures of scenes that I thought were interesting. This pictures shows one of the many interconnecting alleys and passageways in the old part of Toulon.  they definitely have an air of mystery.

At the end of this alley was a very colorful mural that seemed to be about sea travel.

There were several statues like this one in the old part of Toulon. I have no idea if was modern or ancient art. There was no description or label regarding what this statue might be. Posed as it is against a backdrop of graffiti it makes a poignant statement

 Toulon was a more interesting and diverse place than I originally thought it might be. As I said in the beginning, It would be a nice place to spend a vacation or an entire winter if one could afford it. We looked briefly at the cost of apartments in Toulon and they are a good deal cheaper than apartments in Nice. It is something to think about!

Eventually, we did make our way back to the boat. Toulon was a very interesting first stop in our cruise. I can't wait to tell you about the rest of the cruise.

No comments:

Post a Comment