With the rain thankfully moved away to the east, we woke to a sunny morning encouraging us to get out of bed and go somewhere. So we did. Breakfast was followed by doing the dishes and then we were off, heading for the Fort of Six-Fours atop the hill around which the town is built. Three false starts trying to find the access road forced me to swallow my pride and ask Victoria to do her stuff, but she avoided a smug tone as she steered us unfailingly through a warren of streets and then up a winding road to the top of the hill.

What a view!

What a view!

Now, I know you are going to be thinking “Oh no, not again!” but what awaited us at the top was a view so utterly stunning that Mary immediately stamped it “The best so far”. Despite the fact that the majority of the summit was taken up by a military establishment which we weren’t even allowed to photograph, the 270 degrees panorama took us from the Med in the direction of Marseille over the peninsula and into the bay of Toulon, the ports, the city, and then round to Mount Faron which reputedly shelters the city from the worst excesses of the Mistral.

You know, Mary may just be right in her estimation of that view. We were lucky enough to be seeing it on a day when the sky was mostly blue with a touch of wispy clouds giving it the look of a painting rather than a real life vista, and the sun was reflected beautifully on the waters which held the peninsula on its three sides. To my utter chagrin, my camera ran out of battery ten seconds after I turned it on to snap these idyllic scenes but Mary came to the rescue with her phone camera and even shot a bit of video which I hope to include at the end.

Having seen Mount Faron from the fort, we decided to drive over and take the cable-car to the top, a trip recommended by a local we met at the top of the hill, sitting on his car bonnet eating half a baguette of very smelly pâté! It only took 10 minutes to drive over but we were gutted to find that the whole system was closed for the winter and, as there is no road to the top, we were forced to return to the campsite. On the way down the narrow road I tried swopping rear-view mirrors with some Frenchman in a Citroen but neither of us bothered to stop and check for damage. The Audi was OK so I hope his car wasn’t!

We took advantage of our unexpected return to a) use the loo and b) have lunch in comfort. I recharged the camera for half an hour then we were off again, this time to visit a famous church situated at the end of the worst road in France! Of course we didn’t know it was the worst road in France until we had actually driven most of its narrow, wet, bumpy and tortuous path. But get this, there was a campsite near the end of it! I just could not imagine someone towing a big caravan getting anywhere near the front gate of that site: the access would be absolutely ridiculous.

The wee church was indeed well worth the visit and its claim to fame was it was the oldest Christian church in Europe. I’ve included a photo for anyone interested. After the church we returned to the port area of Sanary and took a stroll along the sea front a bit further before wandering around the shops as the sun began to set. We both agreed this was definitely a place to come back to and we recommend it to any of you thinking of a holiday in the South of France. Superb!

With all this walking, I not only have the legs of a marathon runner but the trainers of Alf Tupper, the tough of the track! Like Alf, mine have seen better pavements and now sport their own unsubtle ventilation holes adding even more to my bohemian image. But I have a wife who judges my appearance as a dubious itinerant to be undesirable and that is why I found myself in a sports shop trying on several new trainers until I stopped screaming and wriggling and bought a pair. For 50 Euro I would have expected a track suit and a set of skis as well but Mary shoved me out the door before I could remonstrate in any form. To put a tin lid on the deal, she made me put my old ones in the bin as soon as we got back and I didn’t even get to keep the holes!

We leave for Béziers tomorrow, but not before we’ve watched Murray v Federer from Melbourne at 08.30 live on BBC2. And of course we’ll be watching the crowd closely to try and spot Scotty!!

(Sorry, I can’t get the video to load.)

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