snapshots of my travels
April showers bring May flowers. And after two days of nothing but rain, we were ready to see the sun again. Luckily, the weather cooperated.
Marseille is located in the Provence region of Southern France, right on the Mediterranean coast. It is most famous because of its location - a strategic trade port in ancient times. Today, it is also famous for handmade soap and excellent cuisine.
Breakfast: stop at a nearby bakery and have some bread and coffee. For us, this meant ducking into an unassuming place with the words "boulangerie" and "patisserie" printed on the wall.
Trust me, this place was amazing. Le Pain Marseillais had everything from croque monseiurs to chocolate chip bread and pig shaped cakes. The bread was just so fluffy, so soft, and so humbly flavorful. The view wasn't half bad either!
With a full belly, continue down the same road and you'll end up right at the Old Port. Hop on the Ferris wheel to see the lay of the land from the top. It's only three euros, plus there was no line.
Continue walking along the coast until you arrive at MuCEM. This museum has a unique exterior and many temporary exhibitions inside. It's worth a short visit to learn a bit about Mediterranean history and their plans for sustaining the environment.
Next, cross the bridge to arrive at Fort Saint Jean, which was built in 1660 by Louis XIV. Interestingly enough, the fort was not built to defend the city, but in response to a local uprising against the governor.
The flowers inside the fort weren't half bad either!
From here, keep walking the same direction as before until you arrive in Le Panier, the historical district of Marseille. After window shopping, grab a quick lunch at La Panier a Burgers. We just happened to stumble across this place, and it was only later that we Googled it and realized that it was one of the best lunch places in the city. Order the tempura sweet potato fries with your burger. They were to die for!
Next, you can grab the nearest metro and take it back to the Castellane stop. From here, you have an uphill walk to Notre Dame de la Garde, the highest point in the city. The walk was tough, but the view was well worth it. Plus, there were cats!!
While we had planned on arriving to watch the sunset, we ended up getting there early! Fear not. The golden hour is the perfect time to relax. You can also tour the church if it is open, though it is heavily guarded my the French military.
Honestly, this was one of the most beautiful and magical sunsets I've seen in quite some time. It made me feel so free and it reminded me of how wonderful this world truly is.
Before it gets too dark, you must snap back to reality and walk back down the hill toLe Detour for dinner. This restaurant was absolutely amazing, and while the water did not speak any English, he was more than accommodating and attentive to us.
The duck was served with potatoes and mushrooms, all topped off with bechamel cream. I could eat this meal every day for the rest of my life and I'd be okay with that. Plus, the house wine was of the highest quality (and strong). The perfect ending to the perfect day? Going straight back to the hotel and falling asleep.