Sunday, November 3, 2013

Traveling to Marseille, France

Marseille was one of my favorite places that we visited while on our cruise.  It is a laid back town with lots of shopping and fantastic views if you go to the church at the top of the hill.  Here is a detailed description of our day in Marseille.

Upon arriving in port, you'll have to pay for a shuttle ride "into" the city.  I put quotes around into because you'll still have to walk about 15-20 minutes to get to the main hub.  The shuttle ride is pretty extortionate at about 15 euro per person but you'll receive a round trip on that amount as long as you don't lose your ticket throughout the day.  The shuttle will drop you next to the Cathedrale de la Major.  It will be on the other side of a wall but you'll get an outside view of it.  We did not have an opportunity to view the inside but the outside was quite impressive.

If you are facing the cathedral and you turn right, follow the road and it will lead you into the city.  Just follow all the other tourists and you'll be fine.  There are two museums along the way if you're interested but they weren't open yet when we arrived and we were really sweaty by the end of the day so we didn't have a chance to visit them.  One is modern art I believe and the other is related to the walls you see and the city's history.  Don't quote me on those but I believe it's accurate.

After you walk under a bridge, you'll notice that the road curves to the left and directly in front of you will be views of the old port.  It smells awful but the view of all the boats docked is pretty spectacular.  

Continue following the road and you will see a large variety of restaurants on the left, grab a bite to eat if you're hungry.  Most restaurants as you could imagine are seafood related.  About half way down there was an outdoor art exhibit going while we were there but I'm not sure if it was a permanent exhibit or not.  It was a ton of fun to check out the colorful animals and see with the statues.

 Picasso spent some time of his life in Marseille studying art so you'll see his influence and a couple of statues that are a tribute to him throughout the city.

At the end of the port is where the main hub of the city exists.  You can walk further into the downtown district if you want to do some shopping or you can catch a bus to take you to see the Basilique de Notre Dame de la Garde.  I would highly recommend either taking a public bus or doing the tourist train up to see the church.  It is quite a hike if you want to hoof it!  My husband is cruel and decided that he would rather us walk than take a bus up.  

Just a few of the steps and hills that you'll have to conquer to reach the top.  I would HIGHLY recommend taking a bus, especially in the summer time. After your arrival at the top the trek, or ride, it will be completely worth it.  The gold statue on the top of the church is pretty incredible and much larger when you see it up close.  The views over the city are INCREDIBLE to boot.  We parked our bottoms on a wall and stared out over the city for 30 minutes just admiring the beauty.  

The walk down is easy but reward yourself with some soft ice cream at one of the shops after you arrive at the old port just because.  While we were there, there was a gay pride celebration going on so there was plenty of people watching to behold.  Top off the day with some shopping but just make it back to the shuttle meeting point to get taken back to the bus in time.

I've heard of some snorkeling that happens in the area as well.  If that sounds like your type of thing skip the churches and museums and go on an adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Love it!! I hope someday to get to visit the Mediterranean!! looks so beautiful!!


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