Come Marseille Away
It feels a bit strange to be back in France, but this time 500 miles south of Paris. Marseille, another beautiful port town off the Mediterranean Sea. We made our arrangements to hit the French Riviera. We took the train all along the coast from La Spezia, Italy to our destination, Marseille. The train ride along the sea was beautiful, and I longed to jump in for a swim. (Especially considering there was no air conditioning on the packed train.)
Navigating cities that you've never been in before isn't always the easiest. I've gotten pretty good at finding our way and getting us where we need to go. But I'm still unfamiliar with the areas. Every city has a busy lively area, the tourist places, and the not so nice places. Unfortunately, I ended up towing us through the not so great part of Marseille when seeking out dinner our first night. We knew we weren't in the best place when we saw used (or maybe unused, I wasn't going to check to find out) syringes strewn about the sidewalk. Nope. Not sticking around those parts.
We had so many issues with trains in Italy, Shelby and I were afraid we wouldn't be able to get a train into Spain. Shelby stayed up half the night researching trains from Marseille to Barcelona for tomorrow, I fell asleep while she told me about her findings. ( this is typical, I just zonk out. Sorry dude).
Because of her research, Shelby was afraid that we wouldn't be able to get a train out tomorrow, and we had already made reservations for accommodations in Barcelona. So we woke early and went to the train station to see what we could do. We upgraded our tickets and were out of there in less than 30 minutes. WOW! For once we didn't struggle to figure out the train situation AND we aren't stuck in Marseille.
With the details out of the way, we set out to explore Marseille. When we first arrived, the train station is highly elevated in the city and it looks out to most of Marseille. We walked out and imidiately saw this HUGE basilica on a hill looking over everything. The first thing I said, "I want to go there" so that was our only goal of the day. We started by heading down to the sea. I'm still in awe every time I look out at the sea. I never thought I would be able to say, "I sat on the ledge of the pier and watch sail boats roam in and out of the harbor from the Mediterranean Sea!" So it still shocks me to think, yea, that's what I did!
We sat down for a caffe and a croissant. As we were sitting there, this gentleman came and sat down next to us. He didn't speak any English. And we don't speak much French. We tried to have a nice conversation. All I got from it was that he thought we were beautiful. He wanted us to take him to Barcelona with us and then to America. He loves America. Oh and that he wanted to marry me, love me, and provide for me. (There was probably more, but that's all I gathered). He was 47, so I mean, his game is a little different than younger men- he got right down to business.
Then we set off the the basilica on the hill. Basilique Norte dame de la garde, actually. It's the highest point in the city and they have little trains that will bring you up to it, but where is the fun in that? We hiked up the couple hundred steps in the 95 degree heat of course. For the real affect. It is magnifique. I will say. The view of Marseille was quite amazing as well.
When we decided to head back down, we found an easier route with less stairs, who knew? Obviously not the American girls who just go their own way!
I decided today that I like France more than I did before. Oh but I am looking forward to Spain tomorrow!