Easter at Home
12 April 2009 | Toulon
Home for Easter! A long overdue week off, loving life afloat, sorting out various jobs and getting that shower working again.
We are hauling RG out of the water on Tuesday. It's getting expensive to be afloat now, so rather than keep her in the water for a possible long weekend in May, we're heading across the Petit Rade to a boatyard where she can be in (relatively) cheaper dry dock for the three remaining months we expect to be earning.
Today we went up Mount Faron, one of the several hills surrounding Toulon. We walked to the bottom of the cable car, to be honest. Then we had a nice ramble around the heavily managed park/classified site at the top, enjoying what we could see. As you can tell, it's been a pretty murky, rainy sort of Easter even here in Provence. (Good Friday was magnificent and it may get better tomorrow).
This is the view across the Petit Rade. The straight line breakwater to your left marks the barrier from the Grand Rade, which is then open to the sea. You can access the Petit Rade at either end. The maze of docks directly below us is only a small part of the wharfage; another huge area is out of shot to the right, all of it belonging to the Navy as well as half of what you can see.
It's not at all surprising that Toulon is the second biggest naval base in France. It is very defensible (as both the French and English have found out at various times) from sea and land, with good fresh water. Its hinterland is arid scrub, however, which makes it less safe under siege than Portsmouth or even Cartegena.
One way or another we'll have spent quite a bit of time here (though not as much as Roaring Girl herself!) But because it's been very bitty we haven't really made friends or got a lot of connections with the town, which is a shame