Calanques- those beautiful mountains, crystal clear sea, Cliffs to dive from, What else one will need to make the weekend exciting.
I recently visited Calanque d’En-Vau located near Cassis, in southern France located on the Mediterranean coast. It’s a port city which commands the view of an old chateau. We started our trek from cassis, in the beginning, it was very smooth, then was a descend into the Calanque de Port Pin. We stopped there for a while and moved on to the greater part of our journey. Then it became challenging and more exciting. In between, we stopped to rest, meanwhile had a great treat for our eyes. All we could see was the Calanques and sea. Then came a steep challenging descend into the Calanque d’En Vau.
We had a plan to swim, but we could hardly find people swimming! yes, it was very cold, the water temperature was around 15°C! Then with all the courage we swam and although initially it was bit cold later it was fine.
We took a different route back to Cassis although it was tough at some points, we made it soon. And here is the total activity of the day.
- An easy way to reach cassis is by the local train- TER. It costs around 6-10 Euro from Marseille. There are also buses to nearby places from Marseille.
- It’s a good idea to carry something to eat.
- If you are planning for the two-day trek you can opt the youth hostel nearby as wild camping is prohibited. Visit the tourism office at Cassis for information.
- Try to take a route by the side of Calanque d’en Vau to go back to Cassis. It’s a bit tough but worth it.
Clicked at Fourviere hill, Lyon, France.
That was my second weekend in Lyon, I heard from my co-worker that there was a city of Roman history near Lyon(Thank you, Mathis). That was Vienne- a city of south-eastern France around 30km from Lyon, situated on Rhone river. It was a former Roman colony and once a center of textile industry.
I left early in the morning. It was 20 minutes by train from Lyon. Soon after I got down at Vienne I headed to the tourist office and got to know about the places to visit and also got a route map. The whole city can be covered by foot. Indeed, there is a specific heritage route with markings on the road which covers all the major places to visit.
1. Saint-André-le-Bas church
Following the heritage route, I first stopped by a medieval church of Vienne. It is a church built in the 9th century with very fine stone carvings and generally employed for exhibitions in recent days.
2. Saint-Maurice Cathedral
Next was a cathedral of Saint-Maurice built in the 13th century which is a combination of Roman and gothic styles. The interior of the cathedral is breathtaking.
3. Roman Temple
The Roman temple known as the Temple of Augustus and Livia was built in 1BC.
4. Museum and site of Saint-Romain-en-Gal Vienne
I then visited the Museum and historical site of Saint-Romain-en-gal situated on the bank of river Rhone. The museum depicts the history of ancient Vienne, economy, crafts, mosaics and daily life in the Roman house. The archeological site depicts the Gallo-Romain civilization.
5. Belvedere of Pipet and Théâtre Antique
This is the place one shouldn’t miss in Vienne. On climbing to the top of Mount Pipet where there are a chapel and statue of the Virgin mary and there’s a fantastic view of the city, Rhône Valley, and the Antique roman theater.
This Roman theater hosts the Vienne Jazz festival every year in the month of July.
6. Museum of Fine Art and Archaeology
Museum of Fine Art and Archaeology contains collections of objects of Gallo-Roman, French pottery, and paintings dating from the 14th to the 20th centuries.
- It costs around 5-10 Euro from Lyon to Vienne in the regional train (TER).
- In Vienne, Follow the standard heritage route. Just follow logo incorporated on the road which covers all the heritage sites.
- Buy a single ticket which covers all three museums. It’s economical.