We made it to Marseilles–the gorgeous port city and home of Alexander Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo! This city is probably the most gorgeous yet–the sea breeze is perpetually wafting through the port but it is fresh and not salty or fishy like Florida. Despite its openness with the Mediterranean Sea hugging its corners, Marseille is probably the most jam packed city we’ve been too. The streets are extremely narrow and hard to navigate and the buildings and houses are crushed together and built on top of each other. And like much of France, every inch of it is covered in grafitti:
Still, the city is beautiful. We took an open tour bus to take in more of the sights since the streets were a bit overwhelming to drive ourselves. We passed a few forts including Fort Saint-Jean, now a historical monument. It’s a bit too cold to visit the beach on foot (for us anyway) but we got a nice view of it on the bus:
From there we were able to see Chateau D’if resting on its own island–made famous as the prison the character Edmond Dantès was kept before escaping with the help of Albus Dumbledore (I don’t care if it is a poor adaption, 2002 Count of Monte Cristo is BEST Monte Cristo. You can fight me!) and then enacting his swift and epic revenge.
While on the bus, we were informed of a few tragedies Marseille has experienced throughout history. A plague or two and a Catalan invasion. One story about a Ghost Ship filled with the dead and disease docking here and spreading death proved particularly interesting and I promise to investigate (along with the historical significance of graffiti because I have to now) on this blog when I return home.
As for food, we’re still getting the hang of food times here in France. Our first night here we spent an hour wandering around looking for an open restaurant until by 7:30 we gave up and ended up buying chorizo pizza from a food truck. In the morning/afternoon we found a Middle Eastern restaurant that happened to be open (still having a hard time here). I tried ordering a Turkish Gourmet Coffee which I KNEW was on the dessert portion of the menu because I’ve never had but have been desperate to try one and am not particular to having to go to the country to do so. This got a bit confusing for the poor waiter who didn’t speak a lick of English as he tried to dissuade me from it because he thought it was an accident I was ordering a dessert for my lunch. I gave up and ordered regular coffee instead and a Hamas Kebab which was a a blend of cheese, spices and meat (beef, chicken, and lamb) with a side of fries doused in olive oil. It came out looking like a dookie, but it was very yummy!
I also bought myself some nautical wear as is the style here in the port of Marseille and some soap which is apparently very famous here.
Tomorrow we head for Milan and our first foray into Italia! 🇮🇹