Monday, 11 May 2015

Ou Est La Gare?! Part II

Saturday was jammed packed on the culture vulture front. We didn't eat breakfast at our hotel at 30 euros a pop we gave it a miss and headed for one of the boulangeries by the old port. The weather was glorious so I purchased some much needed sun cream and booked tickets for the boat that would take us to see the Calanques.

I hate boats. I get sea sick on boats but I was determined to get on one to see the beauty of the landscape. I was fine in the harbour. Less so once we were in open water. I didn't throw up, although the French lady next to me did, at least 3 x and then remained in the toilet for the rest of the journey. Her husband was less than impressed when we got off the boat but seriously people, its not a psychological illness, sea sickness its very real!

Here are some wonderful pictures of the beautiful Calanques. A must see if you are in Marseille. You can easily buy tickets for the different tours in the Vieux Port (old port).

Thankfully, as soon as I touched dry land I felt much better. Even more so once I had consumed copious amounts of mussels aux trois fromages avec chuncky chips! 

Next stop, tickets to the museum of modernisation. Although this was a somewhat disjointed musuem and we didn't spend much time in there. We enjoyed the outside more and the art of the building itself. There were glorious views of the harbour and my all time favourite picture of me relaxing on a sun lounger summed up our trip. Next we headed for a nice drink and a spot of shopping before heading home to get changed for round two.

We got back out to the old port at 9.45 pm and not being hungry we decided to get drunk on red wine and a sneaky mojito for me. We couldn't believe it only came to 23 euros for 8 glasses of red and a mojito. They must have got it wrong!

Next day, we were off again to catch the Le Petit Train to take us on the scenic route to Notre Dame de la Garde followed again by a smaller lunch this time. Everyone we came across was very friendly and spoke English which was a little frustrating as it meant there wasn't any chance to practice French really. I feel I have gone back to the embryo stage of this language - not that I know any others mind.

We got chatting with a young lad who had returned from London and loved it there. He showed us how to get to the Le Corbusier buidling. Which was absoulately my favourite part of the trip. An unusual choice to have given that it is a brutalist building and when my husband spoke of it I was less than impressed. What a bus ride to a building you can stand on top of? Sounds thrilling. Not. But I'm so glad we did. It was fabulous.

The metros were having service repairs so we couldn't get there by this method. A lovely old French man led us onto the street and told us to get the number 21 bus and waited with us until we were on it. It was about 20 short stops on one long avenue direct to the door. We were allowed to go on the 3rd/4th floors and the roof. We had a coffee overlooking the park and also visited the art display on the top floor. We later headed home and en route to our hotel in the new port and discovered a fabulous new shopping centre - a mini Bluewater. Of course, we had to buy a few souvenirs and a handbag of course.

Our last meal was in the old port which wasn't great but as my husband pointed out some of the most memorable meals aren't the best - the owner was quite a charachter and I certainly won't forget that evening.  

Our train departed at 2.30pm the next day so we had checked our baggage in the left luggage at the station (although we didn't need to check out until 12 pm) and wandered back into the city to see some great art work and areas we had overlooked.  If you want to see more pictures (as if you hadn't seen enough on here - then please check out my Instagram page.

The journey home was equally as good as the journey there. The staff again were very attentive. You have to get off at Lyon to go through passport control checks. Some people moaned about this and I quote "typical British they let in everyone else but we have to get off". This took less than an hour. You were given more food and more power points for the people that have phones and ipads surgically attached to their hands. In addition, there were x-box stations. Hardly a great hardship. Then we were back on the train for the last leg of the journey.

I think next time we would park at Ashford International as this would save the overnight stay in a hotel versus the cost of parking your car. But most certainly we will be back to the sunny South of France. If not Marseille it could be Amsterdam with the kids as this is Eurostar's next stop. I cannot wait for this new route.

I hoped you enjoyed my blog post on all things Marseille.

A Bientot!


  1. I've enjoyed this little holiday very much. The only problem with "Ou est la gare?" which I can say fluently btw, is that I never understand the answer that comes back in a torrent of French anf waving arms.

    1. ha ha re the fluently bit and yes totally agree cue blank expression when they give you an answer! x

  2. I've only been to Marseille as a transit point - must stop next time. Cheers from Carole's Chatter