STS028-078-064 Marseille, France August 1989
The blue waters of the Gulf of Lions, an arm of the Mediterranean Sea, and Lake Berre provide a marked contrast to the south-central coastal area that includes Marseille (southeastern edge of photograph), the third largest city in France; only Paris and Lyon have larger populations. The numerous hills and low mountains encircling the city restrict horizontal growth and make connections with the hinterland difficult. Both rail and canal connections between the port of Marseille and the Rhone River (western edge of photograph) go through tunnels; part of the canal system is visible in the photograph. Marseille, the oldest town in France (first settled by the Phocaean Greeks of Asia Minor about 600 B.C.), is a well-established seaport and industrial city. Most of the city's infrastructure is not discernible on this scale; however, some port facilities along its western edge and a small part of the Marseille-Marignane Airport runway jutting into the southeast side of Lake Berre are visible.
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