Monthly Archives: April 2018

High, Wild and Wholesome

Marseille, Frioul Island and Ile d’If seen from Notre-Dame de la Garde

One unique location is also the heart of Marseille: the basilica Notre-Dame de la Garde, it stands elevated on a limestone rock formation that is part of the mountain range surrounding the city. From this height you have a 360° view that makes you aware of the natural beauty the city is nestled in: the Mediterranean sea and the Calanques.

The rich blossoms of the Cercis siliquastrum, Judas tree, can be seen everywhere, in and around Marseille

The favorite Corniche part of the city that winds along the picturesque coastline

A proof that Marseille has integrated the ‘wild’ that surrounds it is Calanque Sormiou, the 9th district.  It was formerly a small fishing village while it is now a favorite place for boat owners to rent small accommodation for their weekend and holiday boating adventures, and for true hikers to explore the mountain range, high and low. 

A view of Marseille seen from Calanque de Sormiou, the 9th district of the city

At Calanque de Sormiou, there are similar Pine trees along the coral green sea that I photographed at the neighbor Calanque: Morgiou. However, here the green parts in the waters are much larger. The inviting and refreshing sea with its deep colors, set in a highly diverse limestone mountain range, make for a wholesome counterbalance with the dynamic buzz of the as diverse city that is Marseille. 

My favorite site and sight: small Pine trees at a colorful sea

Inviting waters at Calanque de Sormiou

Pine tree reaching over to the other side; Calanque de Sormiou

Green Skies White Blossoms

Green sky at Port d’Alon

The calendar I have this year contains twelve paintings by Vincent van Gogh. I noticed that he often uses a unique color green to depict the sky. Of course, Impressionist painters can use any color to convey their impression of a scene, but it made me wonder if there is actually such a thing as a green sky. Or, do you need a painter’s eye to see it?

Seascape with green sky; Calanque de Port d’Alon, between La Ciotat and Toulon

Magically enough, there was a clear green sky during a visit to Calanque du Port d’Alon. Adding to that, in the same area, of Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, there was farmland with blossoming fruit trees that reminded me of one of my favourite paintings by van Gogh: ‘Amandier en fleurs’, ‘Blossoming Almond tree’ which is set on a pale sea-green sky.

White on Blue

These were not almond blossoms but the flowers of the Mirabelle tree, a plum variety. Taking photos of one artfully pruned tree in full bloom, the sky in the background was deep blue. I could have changed it into sea-green, in photo-edit on my computer, but that’s not me.

Mirabelle blooms against blue sky