Transition

Ornamental forest
Forest and limestone rock
Narrow forest path

Signs of Spring are already visible with amorous pigeons and blossoming Mimosa trees although this is not unusual in winter for the sunny Mediterranean coast. The forests of the Calanques are a mix of bare and green which give the assurance we’re still in the winter season.

Seaview street
Church and Guinness
Artisan baker and bus stop
Friendly ponies

The way to the equestrian center where I sometimes go to admire the horses and ponies goes through a village-kind of setting with seaview streets, bakeries, a pub and a very ornamental church. All between sea and mountains. And into the mountains I go often. Recently I went on a Sunday morning and was startled by the high number of hikers. It must be the weekend urge.

Sun behind mountain
Pausing at a viewpoint
The greater view
Silver sea

Although it is less quiet to hike in nature when among many other hikers it is enjoyable in a social way. People ask you for the exact track to go from one view to the other, or you have a conversation on why some dogs look more exhausted than their hiking owners. Conclusion, they are overweight. A moment of quiet happens when the mountains open up wide and .. reveal the sea and coastline.

The Corniche viaduct
Pigeon in its hole
Pigeon looking up from its pigeonhole
Man and sailboat

While I have visited the Marseille coastline at the Corniche area numerous times, I noticed this time pigeons flying in and out of the viaduct’s wall. At a closer look, I saw holes in the wall which can appropriately be called pigeonholes. It took some leaning over the wall to see exactly what they were doing but it was obvious that they rest there, hide against bad weather and build their nests.

Season contrast
Sunlit street light
French balcony

What I remember about Mimosa trees is that they can start flowering in February, so I was pleased to see one in full bloom at the end of January, in stark contrast with the bare trees on the opposite side. The Chanot park and exhibition-conference center share an intriguing 1922 highly ornamental entrance gate which celebrates the city’s flourishing epoch. One hundred years later, Marseille has become the largest port of commerce in France and a city of culture.

The Chanot Park Gate of 1922

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