Our first night in Marseille was not without its challenges – tired from the day and having had an enormously heavy lunch, we opted to pick up salad items and eat in while watching “Jaws 2” in French without sub-titles. Eventually we cut-over to an episode of “Orange is the New Black” and then lost the battle to fatigue and went to bed. The apartment is really well located in the heart of the old port area. Downside – LOTS of street noise, no A/C, and no screens on the windows. Needless to say it made for a challenging sleep – need to shut the windows to stop the bugs and the noise, but then you’re stuck with a stuffy room and a wimpy oscillating fan! Arghhh! While the whelps from the bites aren’t as sizable as those mosquito bites we acquired in Camargue, the continuous nuisance could drive a person crazy!! And then it was morning..
We set out on foot to explore Marseille today. First, we walked down the west side of the quai from our apartment in the old port area and found breakfast – typical French petit dejeuner of croissant or pastry, orange juice, and espresso. From there we went on to the Marseille Cathedral (La Cathedrale Nouvelle Major) and the museum of the remains of the Roman docks.
Picked up tickets for tomorrow’s boat tour and then made a quick stop in the apartment before heading up the hill to the Notre-Dame de la Garde. The basilica was beautiful, but the stunning views were what made the climb up the steep hills and more stairs all worth while!
Made our way back down the hill – stopping for a wholly unremarkable lunch – and then on to the Palais Longchamp, home of both the museum of natural history and the museum of art. Wandering back down the residential streets, we came across a farmers market and picked up some fresh fruit for snacks and breakfast.