Southern France and the Italian Coast

Summit Church vaulted ceiling. Marseille, France.

One of the wonderful things about the traveling life is jet lag. Seriously, it is like a time warp that you get to experience several times a year, and get paid for. While the experience isn't always completely pleasant, it is always a harbinger of new adventures to come.

My recent trip in this time machine took me to the southern coast of France, and the western Mediterranean coast of Italy. Talk about beautiful country! The sunshine, warm air, ocean breeze, not to mention the food, were all amazing! My adventures started in Marseille, France. There, I got to witness the deconstruction and sudden reassembly of a large ship in dry dock, and then set out on another week-long voyage on that very same ship! The ship in question, is the Nautica, operated by Oceania Cruises. It is a much smaller ship than the Allure, which I have written about before. Though, what Nautica and Oceania lack in size, they make up for in quality!

 View from the summit.  The     Château d'If is the small, center island .

View from the summit. The Château d'If is the small, center island.

Marseille is a beautiful city, with twisting, narrow streets. I recommend taking the little blue tourist train from the main harbor square. For 8 euro, it takes you from the heart of the old town up to the summit of a hill topped with a beautiful church. This church has been watching over the French sailors for centuries, as well as overlooking the prison island, The Château d'If, from The Count of Monte Christo. 

 The harbor in Sorrento, Italy.

The harbor in Sorrento, Italy.

The next port of call that I got to explore was Sorrento, Italy. It is a stunning town, built on top of a cliff side bluff overlooking a shallow harbor. The grand hotel built atop the cliff is beautiful, though getting up can be a challenge. There is a long stone staircase from the harbor up to the top of the cliffs. The town above is filled with beautiful shops, cafés, and hotels. You don't realize how high up you are until you look back down onto the ascending road from the harbor and out to the sea beyond.

 Amalfi, Italy.

Amalfi, Italy.

My other favorite place, and probably my new favorite location in Europe, was the Amalfi Coast in Italy. The beauty of this town is worth the price of the trip. Someday I will have to come back and hike the trail at the top of the cliffs and ride a motorcycle along the coastal road, but until then, at least I know that this place exists. Amalfi was such a lovely place, filled with wonderful people. From the rocky beach, to the amazing views, it was a place I could have stayed for days and still not experienced as much as I wanted to. 

 A look done the Amalfi Coast.

A look done the Amalfi Coast.

Traveling is wonderful and jet lag can be exciting, depending on your perspective. After all, everything is about perspective isn't it? Hope your adventures find you in some awesome places this year!

- Hans