France

Marseille, my southern love

Marseille – either you love it or you hate it. I happen to be one of the people who love it. A lot!

I went to Marseille by invitation of a friend in 2013. And it was love at first sight. By the time the train was entering the platform – it had already captured my heart.

During this time, the city was the European Capital of Culture so there were a lot of new things that recently opened including the newly renovated Porte Saint Jean, and the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations.

Porte Saint Jean
Trivia: When you visit, you will notice that the canyons in the port are not pointing towards the sea, but towards the city. This was because the King Louis XIV took the city under siege when the Mayor of Marseille went against him.

The Cathedral of the Notre Dame de la Garde is one of the most visited in the city particularly by some pilgrims. The inside of the cathedral is like a magnificent mosaic that one must absolutely see when they visit Marseille.

As I was invited by a friend, I stayed at their place and had first-hand experience of how people live in Marseille.  But if you are more comfortable with a hotel, Marseille offers also plenty of options for you: Hotels in Marseille.
And when they say people from Provence make good food? They were not lying. They made good and healthy food, I couldn’t get enough of it. My favorite is their vinaigrette. I will discuss this further in another blog, but for now – sightseeing!

Our first stop for the visit was the Calanques of Suguiton.

Calanques de Suguiton
Calanques de Suguiton

The greatest challenge going to this place is the hike up and down twice going there and leaving the place. It is a magnificent place where a lot of people go during the weekends. It was a good idea that we went there during the weekday, otherwise there would have been more people. During the hike, you meet a lot of people, tourists, coming from different parts of the world. We met a Brazilian couple taking pictures on the way to the beach – they asked us to take a picture of them which we were more than happy to do, and they returned the favour.

In Suguiton you can just lay at the beach or go snorkelling. There are a lot of stoned islands just a little way off the shore where some people climb and jump into the water.

People hanging out at the beach in Suguiton
People hanging out at the beach in Suguiton

The next day, my friend had party commitments so we went to a party at his friend’s place where we played Petanque! It was my first time to try and play Petanque or what some people call Boule, but apparently I wasn’t that bad. If you go around the beaches in Marseille you will see a lot of people, old and young play this game.

After that we went to hang out at the beach to watch the sunset and join some people from Couch Surfing community having their BBQ party. They were welcoming enough, so we joined them for a drink.

For the fourth day, we went to visit a small village just outside the city center of Marseille called Goude.

Island off the coast of Goude
Island off the coast of Goude

From here you can see boats sailing from Europe to Northern Africa. And there was this deserted island off the coast of the village where the lepers were kept during the middle ages. You can still see remnants of small barracks and houses on the island.

For the final day, we went a couple of kilometres away from Marseille, and went to see the beautiful town of Cassis. It was pristine and beautiful – a genuine beach from Cote D’Azur.

Overlooking the town of Cassis
Overlooking the town of Cassis

We went to the high land from the town center where we could see overlooking the town. It was beautiful, and we could see the small boats and wave-less beach of the town.

Directly from Cassis, we ended a week-long vacation going back to the Marseille main train station. Little did I realize that this city will hold my heart forever.

Marseille Travel Information

When to go: June to September
More Information: Marseille-Tourisme.com
Visa: Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration (OFII)

Anglophone.Francophone. Germanophone.
Just a little girl exploring the world.
Follow me on instagram @mskyruh

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