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Marseilles, Cannes and Monaco

Marseilles, Cannes and Monaco

A trip to the beautiful French cities of Marseilles and Cannes and the country of Monaco Monte Carlo.

July 172009
Cannes, France

Moon rise in the shores of Cannes

4 Days in the beautiful French cities

Day 1 – Flew from London to Marseilles and roam around Marseilles and take a late train to Cannes.

Day 2 – Travel by train to Monaco and roamed around Monaco

Day 3 – Enjoyed the beaches around Cannes

Day 4 – Travel back to Marseilles and fly back to London

The plan is to visit Marseilles, Cannes and my favorite racing circuit in Monaco,

Weather

The weather all round was pretty good, the temps reaching 26 deg C and a bit humid, so carry some light clothing, you wouldn’t need any warm clothing in the night too as the temps stay around 20+, but expect a lot of sea breeze.

What to eat

France is famous for its bread, you get a lot of Ciabattas and sandwiches, croissants, coffee and what not, there are plenty of restaurants to try out, the Vieux port in Marseilles is all lined up with a ton of eateries on all sides of the U-shaped port, Cannes has its selection of restaurants too in the central market place and Monaco can be a feast with posh restaurants, Pizzearias and crossantieries sprinkled all over the place.

Travel and useful tips

We landed in Marseilles by Ryanair on June 04 late night, there is a shuttle bus “Navette” that takes you from the airport to the central station Marseille St Charles, the cost per person is 7.50Eur and the journey takes 30 mins.

 

What to see in Marseilles

Marseille is a small and beautiful city, we stayed in “Vertigo” hostel (booked via Hostel world), it was a nice and decent place to sleep for the night, had our breakfast and the Marseilles exploration begins.

The Vieux Port founded by the Greeks 2,600 years ago, remains the heart of Marseille with its fish market at Quai des Belges beginning just after sunrise daily.
Fort Saint Nicholas on the south, a French Foreign Legion post, and Fort Saint Jean on the north, now city offices. The three quays around the U-shaped Vieux Port are broad esplanades attracting strollers and dog-walkers.

The Cathedral, a few blocks north of the Vieux Port along the Quai de la Tourette, was the largest church — 460 feet long and 230 feet high under its dome — built in Europe in the 19th centuryThe Cathedral is open from 9 a.m. to noon, 2-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday and closed on Monday. Admission is free.

Marseille’s signature is firmly written at Notre Dame de la Garde, the city’s highest location. On top of the 151-foot tall belfry is a bronze statue gilded in gold leaf of the Virgin Mary holding the Baby Jesus with outstretched arms as if to protect the city. At night floodlights shine on the 31-foot tall statue. Inside the church, ship models hang from the ceilings as offerings from seafarers. The interior is layered in gray and maroon marble with mosaics on gold and blue backgrounds. From the parvis, the panorama takes in Marseille basin from the Mediterranean Sea to the west, the Estaque chain to the north, the Etoile chain to the northeast, the mountains of Garlaban and Saint Cyr to the east and southeast and the Marseilleveyre massif to the south. The church is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. It’s about a 45-minute walk, mostly uphill from the port, or take Bus Number 60 that runs between Cours Ballard, adjacent to the port, and the Basilica. The bus ticket is $1.48 (8F; rate for story 1F = $0.185), the price of one bus, metro or tram ticket good for 70 minutes of travel on the city’s transportation system.

We took the Marseille Tour, a toy train like vehicle that takes you to all the places of interest, ticket prices are 8Eur for the Hour and a half trip – route No 1 (Yellow Route), this takes you along the coast, via the cathedrals, and to Notre Dam de la Garde, you can hop off here, and then get the next tour back to the port

Chateau d’If, the 16th-century prison fortress in the bay area on the sea, its a tourist spot now and can be reached by ferry
Admission to the prison is 5EUR. The ferry departs the docks at Quai des Belges, next to the fish market, daily every 90 minutes, starting at 9 a.m., weather permitting, and ending about 4 p.m. The round-trip to d’If is 7EUR, to both d’If and Frioul (the shuttle boat, which also serves the community at Frioul).

What to see in Cannes

We just spent a lot of time in the beaches in Cannes, you have some fine sand beaches to bask in the sun and some museums to visit and a local market near the Cannes SNCF station.

What to see in Monaco Monte Carlo

One of my favourite race tracks from the F1, the country is the second smallest and beautiful sitting between the majestic Alps and the Cool blue Mediterranean sea.

Travel Information

Marseille airport to St charles station – 7.50EUR PP
Marseille tour – route 1 – 8EUR PP
Ferry to Chateau d’If and back – 7EUR PP
Entry to Chateau d’If – 5EUR PP
Train from Marseille to Cannes – 30EUR PP
Train from Cannes to Monaco – 8EUR PP
Monaco Tour – 8EUR PP
Entry Monte Carlo Casino – 10EUR PP

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Chateau d’If
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Skiing in French Alps (Serre Chevalier)

Skiing in French Alps (Serre Chevalier)

Skiing down powdery slopes in French Alps

December 302008

alps-pano-1

Skiing in Serre Chevalier

Come December and the climate gets colder and one thing that comes to my mind is the sight of fresh white powder sprinkled all over the majestic alps, and am sure the very sight of it makes my feet sway around and eager to put on the skis and slide down the lovely slopes.

I felt it much better to book the Ski trip as a package, you get to forget the headaches of airport transfers, buying lift passes for the ski slopes, searching for good Chalets or hotels to stay and renting the ski equipments, so lot less hassle to bother. We booked with the RocketSki.com group, they had pretty good and very efficient on my last Ski trip.

I booked the trip in September and got some very good deals for this trip. – http://www.rocketski.com

 

Weather

Definitely its gonna be cold, but we had blue skies and lovely sun the whole of the week and snow showers in the night on X’mas day 25th to Saturday 27th, the perfect conditions for skiing.

What to eat

There are a lot of mountain restaurants on the Piste that serve some good food and lots of hot chocolate.

Travel and useful tips

Take some good ski clothing, i would recommend for some good quality ones to withstand the cold and all other bits and pieces for the ski trip.

One piece of technology that was very useful for us was the Walkie Talkie, we purchased the Cobra MT975 license free PMR446 range ones, these had a range of 12Kms and did a very good job, as myself and Sarvanan had skied before, we hit some higher slopes and still were able to be in contact with the other two for lunch time, the range of these sets were pretty good and we were still in contact from the top of the mountain peak at 2700m to the ski Piste bottom where the other 2 were learning skiing.

Travel Information

The nearest airports to Serre Chevalier is Grenoble, Lyon or Turin with a transfer time of approx 2 hours, there are lots of Piste maps available all over the place which you can use while skiing to find your best route to ski down and to find new Pistes.

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