'Bravo! Bravo!'

Port entrance to Toulon

The ferry arrives in Toulon on time in the morning. Apart from us, only French people seem to be on this ship. What did they actually do in Sardinia? Colourful hustle and bustle awaits us in the big city at the Côte d’Azur. It is market day and at 8 o’clock the whole city seems to be on its feet. Jogging, pushing the shopping cart, sitting in one of the numerous cafes and sipping a coffee. We do the same and wait for the tourist information office to open.

We are looking for a map and we do not have a Garmin map of France yet. It smells of fresh croissants, baguettes, herbs and fried chicken spinning in one of the many rotisseries. Typical France!

We really enjoyed the food in Italy. Fresh fruit – apricots and cherries – and vegetables – tomatoes and green salad – just ripened, Parmesan, mozzarella and pickled olives. Yogurt always came well in the heat. Cappuccino, cola, Agua Frizzante, Peroni and Ischnusa, cold.

Here in France we will also enjoy the food, however differently.

Sanary-sur-Mer: Astrid cannot resist the smell and buys a roasted chicken. Delicious!
Excursion to the mountains of the Côte d’Azur where the professionals train winter and summer for the Tour.

From the Côte d’Azur, the coast of the rich and beautiful, we cycle via Marseille with a great freak district to the Côte Bleu in Port-de-Bouc with petrochemicals, oil deposits and many not so rich people. What opposites!

Coffee stop at the entrance to Marseille

The district “Notre Dame du Mont” is a must for the Marseille visitor. Very freakish, very colorful, good vibe.

6. Arrondissement of Notre Dame du Mont
Marseille: Notre Dame du Mont
Marseille: Notre Dame du Mont
Marseille: Notre Dame du Mont
Marseille: Notre Dame du Mont
Marseille: We did not miss to visit Le Vieux Port.
Marseille: Le Vieux Port
Marseille: 2e Arondissement
Marseille: Exit to L’Estaque
Cote Bleu

The Cote Bleu is lined up with oil refinery, oil refinery, oil storage, steel mills, social housing, Ikea central warehouses, Roads full of trucks that transport our beloved goods. Between the refineries there is a little beach from time to time – probably with (sun) oil included.

… and we camp in the middle of it on a Municial campsite. The Municipals are our new favourites. Communal campsites, well equipped, excellent for short stays. They are close to the place, so we can buy food in the near towns and the swimming pool is available for the locals and the campsite visitors. We do not need animation, a fun pool or a children’s disco.

The blue flag – for clean water – blows on the beach and in the water lie the oil tankers.

It goes up the Rhone cycle path. We meet some cyclists. The weather is mixed. We know again what clouds look like.

Astrid is completely pissed off because we fight for miles against the sharp Mistral wind. A thunderstorm is coming up, from which we soon hide.
Rice fields in the Carmarque
The Bridge, painted by van Gogh in 1885
Cool, the Rhone cycle path with Mistral and the Carmarque we have behind us.

From Arles we drive to Sommières on the Vidourle, to a nice Municipal campsite.

like the Loire in little: wild river, old stone bridge and an old town on the right.

Today the Col de Minier is defeated. At the pass is the watershed between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

1000 hm gentle slope
The last 100 meters of altitude in the clouds.

Fortunately, the thousands of flies that accompanied us along the entire driveway are soon forgotten.
Let’s go to the Cévennes where we have fond memories of our family holidays.

Georges de la Jonte
Le Rozier

Two days of camping where Jonte and Tarn river meet. With Beatrice and Klaus, our new swiss friends, we have a night coffee and we have breakfast together. Britta and Jens from North of Germany organize our paddle tour.

Britta and Jens have successfully mastered the rapids. Astrid had to get out to loosen the attached canoe and then swim out of the island.

Two days of holiday with friends and a vulture flight show at the breakfast table.

Coffee in the centre of Millau

The cycling shorts no longer fit. They had already gotten darts last winter. Now the last fat is gone and while driving constantly pulling on the pants annoys. There is a Scott bike shop in Millau. Well, which pants and above all which size should it be? One by one is dressed. The shopkeeper and Astrid who stands at the door and supervises the bicycles, make signs to each other while Rolf shows off the pants. After a good half hour it is finally done and the pants are bought. Curious about our bikes, the owner then comes to the door. When he sees our bikes, he is very impressed. When he hears what we have already done, shouts ‘Bravo! Bravo! ‘, understands why Rolf needs new trousers and shakes hands with both of us. Wow, you can’t expect more emotions from a Frenchman!


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