The southern coast of France ranges from beautiful to dramatic, so it really is difficult to take a bad picture. However, there are spots that really jump off the map, and the point above the chapel of Notre Dame de la Garde in La Ciotat is one of them.
After a ten minute walk up from a parking area, you arrive at the chapel, tucked into the side of the cliff. Walking from there on a "path" up the cliff takes you to this spot. Two more steps, and you are in the Mediterranean, eventually... While creating this VR, the wind was gusting quite a bit, adding even more drama to the moment.
The cliff jutting up from the east is the Bec de l'Aigle, or the Eagle's Beak. This was pushed up from an ancient river bank that flowed south to north. The composition of the rock and calanque, is unique to the area. The rest of the calanques, as you head west toward Cassis, are white, so this makes La Ciotat a great starting point for visiting the many calanques.
France is affectionately referred to as "the Hexagon" for its overall shape.French history goes back to the Gauls, a Celtic tribe which inhabited the area circa 300BC until being conquered by Julius Caesar.The Franks were the first tribe to adopt Catholic Christianity after the Roman Empire collapsed. France became an independent location in the Treaty of Verdun in (843 AD), which divided up Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire into several portions.The French monarchy reached its zenith during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King, who stood for seventy-two years as the Monarch of all Monarchs. His palace of Versailles and its Hall of Mirrors are a splendid treasure-trove of Baroque art.The French Revolution ended the rule of the monarchy with the motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" On July 14th, 1789 angry mobs stormed La Bastille prison and began the Revolution in which Louis XVI, his wife Marie-Antoinette and thousands of others met the guillotine.One decade after the revolution, Napolean Bonaparte seized control of the Republic and named himself Emperor. His armies conquered most of Europe and his Napoleonic Code became a lasting legal foundation for concepts of personal status and property.During the period of colonization France controlled the largest empire in the world, second only to Britain.France is one of the founding members of the European Union and the United Nations, as well as one of the nuclear armed nations of the world.Text by Steve Smith.