Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Continuing Our Boat Trip Outside Marseille

The story of the calanques goes back over 100 million years.  The rocks of the calanques were formed during the Jurassic and Cretaceous eras through the accumulation (up to several hundred meters) of fragments of skeletons and shells of marine micro-organisms at the bottom of a warm sea.

Sixty million years ago, these rocks emerged during the overlap of the African and European tectonic plates and, over time, the action of erosion and climactic variations deformed the formations.  About 1.8 million years ago, the glaciers caused the lowering of the sea by around 130 meters.  Around 20,000 years ago, the sea was 15-20 km away from Marseille, but then the sea level rose, flooding the shores and caves of the calanques and many of the reproductions of animals found on the cave walls are now submerged at over 40 meters of depth.

The erosion of the limestone massifs still continues, forming rugged reliefs and deep, narrow valleys, continuously charming and exciting us with their beauty.

As our boat continue further along the coast of the calanques, we contine to be amazed by the ever changing sights.

Continuing along the coast

Reaching the farthest point from Marseille of our journey today, we spot a cliff with climbers working their way up.  We wonder how they got here, but, however it was, they certainly picked an interesting cliff to climb.

Climbers on the cliff

Near the climbers, we pull into a small bay and the boat squeezes between the walls.

Taking a look

We back out, look at the climbers, almost all at the top, and turn around for the trip back to Marseille, enjoying more beauty of the calanques as we return.

Climbers up

Heading back

We spot another small village on the coast - this is certainly great if you like solitude!

Small village on the coast

Remote church

Too soon, we're heading back through the islands outside Marseille, seeing definite signs of people living on the shores.

Returning to the city

Marseille appears in the distance, the sights now becoming familiar as we have seen them now by sea and by land.

Returning to the harbor

Leaving the boat, we cross the square at the foot of the harbor and find that the fish stands selling (and cleaning for the buyer) fish off the boat are winding up for the day and their supply of fish is shrinking.

Fresh fish off the boats

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