This weekend I was extremely lucky to have one of my dearest friends from Colorado visit me in France! In the hopes of doing some exploring and adventuring we planned to go to Cassis, France for a night. Cassis is a little town known for its proximity to the Calanques National Park. The Calanques are large inlets, that almost resemble fingers, stretching into the Mediterranean Sea. Calanque directly translates from French to English as a 'rocky inlet'. We traveled by train from Nice, transferred trains in Toulon and arrived in Cassis on Friday afternoon. The train station to the center of town was about a 35 minute walk, downhill -- easy enough!
On Friday night, the town practically seemed vacant. Many store fronts were closed and we were worried we had missed the best time to explore Cassis. We enjoyed a quiet dinner before returning to our hotel room for the night. The next morning we woke up bright and early to make the most of our day. The vacant city of Cassis was unrecognizable. The small town was bustling, especially as fishermen were returning and selling their day's catch. We checked out of our hotel and headed to the bakery where we each enjoyed a slice of quiche. We ate overlooking the boats of Cassis, and since we didn't have any eating utensils, we ate our quiche like a slice of pizza. We surely didn't fool anyone into thinking we were French.
We walked from the center of town to the trailhead. Taking public transportation wasn't a necessity in Cassis which really simplified our trip. From the trailhead we almost randomly picked our route but it worked out well. We were hoping for a scenic hike that would potentially lead to a flat and sunny rock with a beautiful view. We found everything we hoped for! After our scenic lunch we hiked back to the trailhead and back into town. We rewarded ourselves with some delicious ice cream and made our way back to the train station. Our hike was approximately 12 miles but you really could have hiked a lot further or a lot less if you wanted to. We accessed the national park from Cassis but I believe there are other entrances as well.
We arrived in Nice on Saturday evening, enough time to show my friend Nice at night! The next day I was a little sore, but it probably did not help that I sat on a train for 3 hours after a day of hiking. This trip to Cassis was really beautiful, easy, and an opportunity for some physical activity (a change of pace from the eating and city touring I have been used to). I highly recommend a quick trip to Cassis for anyone looking for a little bit of an adventure!
I have attached a few photos that only begin to showcase the beauty of the Calanques National Park.
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<p>My name is Lee Foden and I am a journalism student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Born in Maine, I love the ocean and am looking forward to spending my time by the Mediterranean next semester! I am taking a break from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and headed to the rocky beaches of Nice, France. Follow my blog to stay up to date with all of my European adventures!</p>