As I depart Sausset-les-Pins station at around 8:30am all I see on the grass and trees surrounding the tracks is a crisp frost which will be gone within the hour. The early morning sun, which made an orange and pink painting in the sky, would soon work its magic and warm the little French village up, until night fall fell again.
From Sausset-les-Pins I would be travelling East into Marseille. Where I would spend the day and get back to Sausset-les-Pins on the 17:42 train.
Within the first five minutes of the 40 minute journey I see the industrial side of rural France – there is a well kept industrial estate to the right of me and a field of solar panels to the left. Not overly industrialised.
All throughout the journey a river meandered under the railway line and back out the other side, there was numerous bridges, and I suspect footpaths, for people to enjoy and ramble along the beauty of the French Riviera.
There are farm houses dotted here and there with some livestock grazing
Small woodland areas engulf the train at regular intervals. However as the sunlight returns to the train it’s clear to see the ruins of a medieval castle to the left, sitting high upon a hill looking down over the two neighbouring villages around Gignac La Nerthe.
The train, made of two carriages, is pretty basic, no plugs, no wifi, no tables. But that didn’t matter, who needed to play Candy Crush whilst travelling through France when the scenery around you is so pristine. Hopefully no-one.
I had my headphones in, listening to ‘Last Train Home’ by a personal favourite, Cam Penner, and every so often I took them out to hear the sound of the French natives nattering and the sound of the train on the tracks and the birds tweeting through the open window above me.
As the train crawled into Marseille station it was easy to see how industrialised France’s main cities are.
Construction sights dotted about everywhere, near completion office blocks and newly built housing estates perfectly lined with its neighbouring sunflower fields.
As I stepped off the train the warm air hit me, but that distinctive city smell hit me harder; the mix of fresh pastry, morning coffee and heat was just so French.
I would spend the day in Marseille: writing, sight seeing and soaking in the French city culture before returning to Sausset-les-Pins.
I have never done this journey before from Sausset-les-Pins to Marseille but I’m sure I will do it again.
Now I have described my travel from France I see it a suitable time to say that it was a lie. This is really the trip I take four times a week, twice a day from Blythe Bridge, in the heart of Staffordshire, to Derby. Strange how people see different countries and their interpretations, isn’t it?