Seeing the long queue that had already formed to catch the shuttle boat from our cruise ship into Toulon, on the southern coast of France, we thought we had better get a move on.
The map we had of Le Mourillon (the neighborhood of Toulon the shuttle boat would pull into) pictured a cruise ship near a “You are here” marker, and we assumed that our ship was docked at this point. Wrong.
We were not “here” at all, but way across the bay in La Seyne sur Mer, a fact announced on the sign that we blindly passed on our way to the town centre (centre ville).
Apparently most cruise ships dock in La Seyne sur Mer, necessitating a boat ride across the bay to Toulon itself – hence the shuttle boats. Definitely a “der” moment for us, and the reason why the map made no sense to us.
But we enjoyed our time in charming La Seyne sur Mer…
and even taking the opportunity for a little open-air market shopping before catching the ferry (for just 2 euros each)…
across to Toulon.
By then it was lunchtime when most shops are closed, so we enjoyed a leisurely lunch of French cuisine and local wine in a lovely little bistro, happy to be in the country which has somehow stolen our hearts, if only for a day.
Refreshed, we made our way up to the Cable Car of Mont Faron (Le Téléphérique du Mont Faron). But when the road went on and on at an increasingly steep ascent, we wished we had caught the bus – if only we had known which one!
But the breathtaking views of beautiful Toulon harbour from the cable car made it all worthwhile.
And as we sat back and relaxed at 584 metres above sea level we took it all in before taking the return ride.
Then gratefully waited at the bus stop (across the road and to the right) for Bus number 40 to take us back to the harbour in time to catch one of the last shuttle boats for the day – something that 9 passengers omitted to do. And if it hadn’t been for the late return of 220 other passengers participating in a ship-organised tour (for whom the ship is committed to wait for) those 9 would have been left behind in Toulon, or should I say in La Seyne sur Mer!