Monday, 27 August 2012

Toulon en famille

We wake early to a beautiful sunrise and a cloudless sky and are having breakfast as we enter Toulon harbour like a multi-Storey hotel gliding into a coastal village. As we disembark shortly after 9 it is already very hot. We stroll along the edge of the marina then  turn inland to visit the fruit and veg market which begins in front of the church.
The produce is impressive, especially the juicy figs and enormous mangoes. We're intrigued by the brass studs in the pavements thet seem to direct pedestrians, but to what? Toulon is known for its leafy squares and fountains, as well as its provencale market so we stroll around the old city and admire them.

Paula, John and Leah are meeting us today so we find them a car park under the Place des Armes and then stop for a drink at a cafe. It really is hot! Above the car park os a terrace where we spot some street art but it's too hot to spend long looking. Back in the cooler narrow streets we find a life size sculpture of a ship emerging from the end of a building.

Back at the car park we meet the family just after 11 and head back to the marina for a drink. It's so lovely to see everyone, espeially Leah who Alex and I haven't seen for, we think, 7 years. She lives in Marseille, just up the coast; Paula and John are visiting her as part of a tour of Provence and they move on tomorrow, so we're lucky our schedules coincide.

We consider staying where we are for lunch but the menu has photos so we check the guidebook and find a place called the Feuille de Chou a 5 minute walk away in the old town. That tuens oit to be a real find; it's in a quiet square shaded by olive trees and the food is fantastic. We're pretty full but have to find room for the cafe gourmand we see our neighbours eating.

We wander back through the market to the marina, with a brief stop to buy sunglasses, and end up at another marina-side bar as there's little else to do. Finally we walk them back to the car park and say goodbye.

 Back on board the boys play table tennis while I sit in the sun, then I join Alex in the pool which is freezing! We sail at 7 while Al and I are in the jacuzzi listening to an excellent salsa band. Alex tells me he's so happy he loves everybody except President Assad and the President of Uraguay (who he's heard runs an oppressive regime). Bless. We're late to dinner and end up sharing a table with an entertaining Texan couple. Service in Windows is so slow that we get to bed after 11, not ideal preparation for an early start tomorrow.

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