Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ratonneau Isle of Frioul Archipelago

Last time Nate visited, we spent one of our afternoons exploring 1/2 of the isle of Ratonneau off the coast of Marseille. Today, we explored the 2nd half of the island.

In my earlier posts about Frioul, believe I didn't menion that Frioul is actually the archipelago made up of 4 islands...Ratonneau, Pomègues, If, and Tiboulain. Chris and I have been to If, have now seen all of Ratonneau, and only 1/3rd of Pomègues. Tiboulain is off the coast of Ratonneau, and without a boat, we can't get over to it. It's rather small comapred to the other islands.

The day was perfect for hiking, in the low to mid 70's and sunny with clouds dotting the sky. After a hearty brunch of savory and sweet crepes, we took the boat over to Ratonneau and began our hike.

Ratonneau was once the site of Nazi forts, and then was bombed out leaving only ruins of forts and bunkers. We forgot our flashlight, but were still able to go down into some of the underground rooms and explore what is left on the island. The fort at the end was unforunatley blocked off, possibly rennovation or something else, but we could only walk around it.

The gulls were quite crazy since they have babies everywhere. Every gull couple has about 2 to 3 babies, which are hard to spot unless you know that you are looking for grey colored babies. The gulls were not happy with our explorations and kept yelling at us and, at one point, decided to swoop down at our heads...causing us to run back up the hill to get away from the attacking birds. I wonder if Alfred Hithcock ever visited Ratonneau?

There were lots of people at the beaches and boating around the island. Quite a few topless ladies on the boats. Chris was dying to go swimming all day, but it was a bit chilly. He was happy to at least put his feet in the water at one of the beaches.

We topped off the lovely day by eating van pizza. Yes, we bought pizza that was cooked in a van! ('ll appreciate the pics of this) The pizza was rather good...and the figatelli sausage one was best! The guys have now made me a convert to van pizza.



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