Page 5 of Freedom 55 Travel Blog Posts

Although Marseille is France's largest commercial port, the city is going through a rejuvenation these days. Several miles of waterfront are used for shipping and cruise ship docking but old warehouses and empty land is being rebuilt into modern condo and office buildings and shopping centres. We are staying in a newish building on the edge of this, in a 9th floor 3-bedroom penthouse with a huge rooftop terrace, views across the Mediterranean Sea to the south and east across the city and the Old Port to the huge Catholic Basilica built in 1864, the Notre Dame de la Garde, and the Cathedrale de la Major, a beautiful and historic cathedral that was erected in the middle of the 19th century Cathédrale de la Major is an amazing example of the architecture of that time. Originally, ... read more
Cathedrale de la Major
Hotel de Cabre building
Ancient, worn stairway entering Le Panier district of Marseille

North America » United States » California » San Luis Obispo September 12th 2014

We decided to leave San Francisco at 6:30am this morning to avoid rush hour. If this was NOT rush hour, I would HATE to drive in the real thing! We took the Richmond bridge towards Oakland from Corte Madera to avoid driving directly through San Francisco but the 5 or 6 lanes of traffic grew increasingly packed with vehicles for two hours varying from 80 or 90 miles per hour down to sudden full stops until we were past San Jose. It was crazy with cars flying back and forth across all 6 lanes of traffic trying to find the fastest lane or to get into position for their exit. I cut off one car who swerved to narrowly avoid me hitting him when I had to switch lanes suddenly to avoid exiting too early. Luckily ... read more
Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur
Elephant Seals at Piedras Blancas

North America » United States » California » San Francisco September 11th 2014

Rather than driving into San Francisco this morning, we caught a cab over to the Larkspur ferry terminal near us here in Corte Madera and enjoyed a FAST 35 minute ride into the San Francisco terminal at the foot of Market Street. It was an interesting trip, passing San Quentin prison on the way. A lot of the inmates were in the yard exercising and one of them was wildly waving at us as if to say, "wait for me!". The ferry ride also gave me some new angles for photos of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz in the fog. We spent the day walking around and shooting images of the city and just absorbing the atmosphere in this great city. We ended up in Chinatown for a dim sum lunch then walked down to ... read more
Golden Gate Bridge in the fog
Coit Tower, San Francisco

North America » United States » California » Corte Madera September 10th 2014

We left Crescent City yesterday morning, first driving by their docks for a quick photo of Battery Point Lighthouse. You can also see, and hear, sea lions on the rocks nearby. We left the city, still on Highway 101, now also called Redwood Highway. And for good reason! Within minutes we were deep into the redwoods, surrounded by TALL and WIDE redwoods. It was really pretty impressive and the sunglasses came off as it got dark enough that signs warned us to have our headlights on. Our first stop was the "Trees of Mystery". It was easy to spot as they have a 49 foot tall statue of Paul Bunyan and Babe out in front. I wanted to have the experience of walking through the redwoods and also to learn a bit more about them. This ... read more
Paul Bunyan and Babe
Klamath, CA drive-thru redwood tree
Grey whale spouting

North America » United States » California » Crescent City September 8th 2014

We woke up to another chilly, overcast and slightly foggy day again. I'm not sure what happened to summer but I sure hope it returns soon. Although our drive had to begin with the top up again, it's still fun driving the Miata on all of the narrow, winding roads around here. At North Bend we turned off of Hwy. 101 at Virginia Avenue and followed the signs towards Ocean Beaches. The Cape Arago Highway (Hwy. 540) begins here and runs along the bay, past Charleston and out the peninsula. After driving about ten miles we found the road closed! We turned into a state park campground there and the girl at the gate told us she heard that if you drove around the barricades you could make it all the way out to Simpson Reef ... read more
Cape Blanco
Griffs on the dock
Hidden beach on the Oregon Coast

North America » United States » Oregon » Reedsport September 7th 2014

Most people that know us are very aware that trying local food plays a large part in our enjoyment of travel, and this trip has been no exception. Over the last few days in Oregon, we've especially enjoyed all of the fresh, local seafood and although I try to do tripadvisor reviews when I have time, I thought I'd mention a few of our enjoyable restaurant experiences here. In Rockaway, Oregon we ate at the Beach Bite right on Highway 101 about half way through town on the east side of the road at the corner of N. 2nd. Ave. Actually, this family restaurant is connected with a Mexican Bar & Grill called Dos Rocas, and we ate on that side. We both had the Halibut fish tacos and they were fantastic as was the Salmon ... read more
Fresh Sea Food at the Luna Sea
Harbour Light Foil Bake
Char-Grilled Salmon Salad

North America » United States » Oregon » Reedsport September 7th 2014

Yesterday, Friday, September 5, was breaking heat records, into the 90's fahrenheit. And the outlook was for more of the same on Saturday. But, the day started very foggy, misty and COLD and we didn't climb up past 55 degrees; nearly 40 degrees cooler than forecast! So the Miata kept her top on all day today. Our first stop today was Cape Foulweather with a 360-degree coastal panorama view. Unfortunately, the weather really was foul; so foggy we couldn't see much but I did get a few shots of a beautiful beach, hundreds of feet below us, fading off into the fog in the distance. We drove on to the Devil's Punchbowl from here, which is a rock formation on the coast that is like a huge bowl with tunnels at the bottom letting in the ... read more
Cape Foulweather
Sea Otter feeding
Tufted Puffin

North America » United States » Oregon » Depoe Bay September 5th 2014

This morning we picked up our free coffee and danishes and fruit then chose a bench on "The Prom" to eat breakfast in the morning sun by the ocean. After a short walk across the sand to the water, we returned to quickly load up the car and head out down the coastline again. We are sure enjoying all of the roly-poly, narrow winding roads going in and out of all the state parks, under the heavy tunnel-like canopy of trees. Even Hwy. 101 is a great curvy little highway that the Miata just seems to purr along on. And the convertible is perfect for the spectacular heat wave we're having here on the coast. It's supposed to be up into the 90's fahrenheit today and tomorrow. Our first stop today was Ecola State Park to ... read more
Cannon Beach
Surfer on Cannon Beach
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

North America » United States » Oregon » Seaside September 4th 2014

Our stay at the Tokeland Hotel really was great. The atmosphere is kind of a mix between a historic hotel, B&B, and Grandpa's cottage. The whole place is very eclectic with a variety of old wooden tables and chairs in the dining area, with cloth placemats and all the lounge seating areas around the hotel have a real hodge podge mix of chairs and couches with cushions and blankets and piles of books and board games everywhere. All of the staff and the owners are very friendly and attentive and even Fat Cat and Pixie the old Golden Retriever were very welcoming. The meals were all excellent from the oysters and scallops to the eggs, cranberry sausages and coffee. The Tokeland is a VERY warm and homey place and I would strongly recommend that you do ... read more
Long Beach, WA
World's Largest Frying Pan
Cape Disappointment

North America » United States » Washington » Westport September 3rd 2014

We got a later start today, leaving Forks, WA about 11am on a warm and sunny day, so we had the top down on the Miata right away. Our first stop was the Hoh Rainforest, just 12 miles south of Forks then 18 miles east off of Hwy. 101. The 18 mile drive was a beautiful, rolling, curving narrow road through high, thick trees; just perfect for the Miata! There's a $15 fee at the gate which is good for a week at any of the Olympic Park areas. It surprised me that the large parking lot was already full so we drove on to the overflow parking. There were a variety of hiking trails available and we chose one listed as a 1 1/2 hour hike. It was a beautiful walk through lush rainforest and ... read more
Ruby Beach
The World's Largest Spruce Tree
Tokeland Hotel

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