The very last stop on our 12 day Grand Mediterranean Cruise was the port in Toulon, France. We docked on a Sunday, which left me with a bitter taste in my mouth; the French bakery that I had planned on getting macarons in was closed. There is a law in France that requires businesses to close on Sundays unless they’re in certain cities during specified times of the year and directly related to tourism; sadly, macarons are not considered essential. While planning our shore excursions, I met a couple over on the Cruise Critic website that wanted to share a Toulon shore excursion through Provence Connection tours. The price was reasonable and the itinerary was good, and we ended up with two terrific travel companions for the day and a wonderful driver with a tour of Cap Canaille, Cassis, and a winery in Bandol.
The most difficult part of our trip was finding our van and driver. There were so many buses near where our cruise ship docked, but only one went to the private shore excursion pick-up location. They tried to put us on a shuttle bus to downtown, but we finally found the correct bus.
Our driver was waiting on us at the assigned pick-up location, and we made brief introductions before heading off for a day touring the area. He suggested that we visit Cap Canaille first because we were visiting during peak tourist season, and the cliffs can get busy. I was shocked at the number of cyclists that were climbing the steep hill. The view from the top was just incredible. It’s the highest sea cliff in France, with a nice view of the Calanques and the village of Cassis. It would be a nice spot for a picnic, but maybe not wine, because you might tumble off the edge of the earth. lol
Here’s a short video that I filmed at Cap Canaille along with a few photos.
Here are the real rock climbers. They’re so much braver than I am.
We headed down to the village of Cassis immediately following Cap Canaille and I began my search for French Macarons. I love macarons, and I couldn’t imagine visiting France without having a few. We walked the village for a while before we stumbled across one open bakery that had small packages of macarons. I tried not to gasp at the sticker price; six quarter size macarons were 12 Euros. My husband had a delicious piece of Flan pie that only cost 2 Euros and we shared a piece of meringue that was also 2. We took our flan, meringue, and macarons and found a seat near the waterfront.
We were on top of these rocks.
Louche Adrien is the name of the bakery, and it’s on a main street.
The bag of macarons contained one each of vanilla, chocolate, raspberry, pistachio, mocha, and lemon. We shared the lemon and mocha first before the wind blew my airy bag of macarons on the ground. Jeremy and I looked at each with with shock and disbelief, before we decided to invoke the five second rule. I peered around to make sure no one was looking before we grabbed them from a sand pile. FYI for those of you that aren’t familiar with the five second rule, it states that if food hits the ground for less than five seconds, you can dust it off and eat it. Usually the only person who claims such nonsense is my 6 year old son. What’s shocking is that my germaphobe husband didn’t bat an eye about eating the slightly sandy macarons. It’s amusing to me because we had been engaged for months before he would even share a water glass with me, and he still fusses over my son drinking from his glass. I doubt he or I will ever forget our “five second rule” macarons or the laughter that ensued after we finished them off. The pistachio and vanilla were definitely worth it.
While we were in Cassis, we booked a lovely boat tour of the Calanques and visited a local winery in Bandol. I plan on covering both with photos and videos in a future post, so please check back.
Our 12 Day Grand Mediterranean Cruise on the Norwegian Cruise Line Spirit was a whirlwind of adventure. Our day touring the areas around Toulon with Provence Connection provided a bit of relaxation with some amazing natural scenery. I highly recommend both the tour company, and checking out Cap Canaille, Cassis, the Calanques, and stopping into one of the many local wineries.