Provence & Cote d'Azur

Our last port city in France was Toulon. Toulon lies in the largest deep water port in the south of France. It is also the most active seaport with shipyards, container shipping ports, and fishing ports to serve most of the Mediterranean. And Toulon was probably our least impressive town in the itinerary. But we spent all of our time making an excursion out from Toulon to explore the Provence region of southern France.

Our first stop was this gorgeous little fishing town called Sanary-Sur-Mer. It was Christmas Eve morning and the locals were down to the harbor-side fish market to buy their traditional Christmas dinner of seafood! The market was really buzzing as people were buying every kind of seafood.

Seafood for Christmas Eve Dinner!
Every kind of fish imaginable was being sold, including entire boxes of oysters, barracuda, and sea urchins! Note the Christmas lights on the sailboats- wish we could have seen this at night!
French Yule Logs

With only a few minutes before we must load the bus and move on, Patty and I made quick survey of Sanary-Sur-Mer.

Gotta love these little villages!

Next Stop, St Cyr-sur-Mer and the Domane de Fr├ęgate Winery...

This very friendly family-owned winery schooled us in the French method of wine-making. the son of the owner, who is also the vintner and wine-blender explained their method of using stainless steel and oak storage to bring out the flavor of these fine Provence wines.

This stop challenged us in our wine collecting and dealing with our maximum baggage weight limit! Note the friendly canine wine critic above.

Last stop of the morning- Le Castellet

View of the Bandol Region from Le Castellet
The medieval town of Le Castellet, perched atop the hill.

With the morning's travel complete, we returned to our ship, had a hearty lunch and spent the afternoon in the ship's spa using the huge hot tub, steam sauna, dry sauna, and snow room! Now this life is just too good!

Au Revoir France!
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Gregg & Patty Gunkel
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Gregg & Patty

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