Frioul

Approaching the harbor of Frioul

Approaching the harbor of Frioul

On this second day of our two-day photo excursion (see this page for photos of the first day), Didier and I visited the Frioul archipelago in the bay of Marseille. It comprises 4 islands; in order of decreasing size they are Pomègues, Ratonneau, If, and Tiboulen. The first two are connected by an artificial dam and form what one usually means when one says one is going "to Frioul". The boats take off from the old harbor in Marseille, and the ride takes either 30 or 35 minutes, depending on whether one stops at If on the way. This island is just large enough to accommodate the castle that was made famous by Alexandre Dumas in his novel The Count of Monte Cristo.

We began by exploring Pomègues with its craggy coast line and various fortifications. There were impressive numbers of seagulls. It was nesting season, and while the females sat on the eggs, the males were a short distance away, ready to intervene should someone get too close. Often, as we approached, the female would leave the nest for a short period of time, but Didier was attacked when, trying to photograph the eggs, he got a little too close! We were back in the harbor of Frioul just in time to have lunch. We then explored Ratonneau and walked to the Hôpital Caroline, a hospital that was built in the 1820s to accommodate travelers who had to be quarantined. During the liberation of Marseille in 1944, the hospital was destroyed by aerial bombardments; at the moment, it is being restored. We took a boat that got us back to Marseille in time for Didier to drop me off at the station and comfortably make my 6 p.m. TGV back to Cannes.

Click on any image to see a larger (2100 x 1400 pixel) version!


The pier in Marseille from where the boats for Frioul leave Sailing past the 'Mairie' (City Hall)

The pier in Marseille from where the boats for Frioul leave

Sailing past the Mairie (City Hall)


At the harbor entrance: Center for underwater archeological research We're on our way!

At the harbor entrance: Center for underwater archeological research

We're on our way!


Passing the 'Château d'If' of 'The Count of Monte Cristo' fame We have arrived in the harbor of Frioul

Passing the Château d'If of The Count of Monte Cristo fame

We have arrived in the harbor of Frioul


Frioul, 'Château d'If', and Marseille's 'Notre Dame de Garde' The northwestern shore of Pomègues

Frioul, Château d'If, and Marseille's Notre Dame de Garde

The northwestern shore of Pomègues


Fauna meets flora The 'Digue Berry' connects the islands of Pomègues and Ratonneau

Fauna meets flora

The Digue Berry connects the islands of Pomègues and Ratonneau


The 'Starting the walk down the island of Pomègues Looking towards the southwestern tip of Pomègues

Starting the walk down the island of Pomègues

Looking towards the southwestern tip of Pomègues


The southeastern shore of the island The vegetation hugs the ground; nothing tall grows here

The southeastern shore of the island

The vegetation hugs the ground; nothing tall grows here


The old 'Port de Pomègues' Fish farm

The old Port de Pomègues

Fish farm


Rusted buoy 'La roche percée', the pierced rock

Rusted buoy

La roche percée, the pierced rock


he rugged beauty of the Frioul archipelago Seagull

The rugged beauty of the Frioul archipelago

Seagull


'Le sémaphore de Pomègues' The outrageous colors of the Mediterranean

Le sémaphore de Pomègues

The outrageous colors of the Mediterranean


Pomègues flowers

Pomègues flowers


Fermale gull siting on her eggs The'Batterie de Cavaux'

Fermale gull siting on her eggs

The Batterie de Cavaux


Looking to the northeast towards the harbor of Frioul... and lunch! One of many rocky inlets

Looking to the northeast towards the harbor of Frioul... and lunch!

One of many rocky inlets


Looking towards Ratonneau island and the port of Frioul The colorful buildings emerge between the rocks

Looking towards Ratonneau island and the port of Frioul

The colorful buildings emerge between the rocks


We are about to cross from Pomègues back to Ratonneau Abandoned building on the way to the 'Hôpital Caroline'

We are about to cross from Pomègues back to Ratonneau

Abandoned building on the way to the Hôpital Caroline


Red Valerian (a.k.a. kiss-me-quick, fox's brush, and Jupiter's beard) Quiet inlet on the southern shore of Ratonneau

Red Valerian (a.k.a. kiss-me-quick, fox's brush, and Jupiter's beard)

Quiet inlet on the southern shore of Ratonneau


Looking towards Marseille in the distance 'St. Estève' beach

Looking towards Marseille in the distance

St. Estève beach


The 'Hôpital Caroline' is being restored Roots breaking through a rock wall

The Hôpital Caroline is being restored

Roots breaking through a rock wall


When we got close, the female moved and we could see the eggs... ...but the male gull made sure we didn't get too close!

When we got close, the female moved and we could see the eggs...

...but the male gull made sure we didn't get too close!


View of the 'Château d'If' from Ratonneau Pilot boat

View of the Château d'If from Ratonneau

Pilot boat


This is where the Marseille harbor pilots are trained Heading back into the harbor of Marseille

This is where the Marseille harbor pilots are trained

Heading back into the harbor of Marseille



The photos on this page were taken on April 22, 2016.
See this page for day one of this two-day photo trip.




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