Marseille, France

I’m blogging today from the lovely Torrèfaction Noailles, a lovely café with 12 different types of coffee and very nice food, too. I’ve gone with ice cream today, as it’s very hot here and ice cream seems to fit in with the Mediterranean feel of Marseille.

It’s lovely to be back in France! Marseille may be big, but it’s definitely nothing like Paris. We’d heard a lot of rumors along our travels about this city when we discussed our plans with other travellers and backpackers, and a lot of the stories sounded pretty negative, so we had started to get a little less excited about this part of our trip. As it turns out, Marseille is a really interesting and exciting place so I’m glad we included it in our plans, even if it is a little off the beaten track.

The atmosphere here is really relaxed, perfect for enjoying the sea views. On our first day here we strolled along the Canebière along the harbor and watched the ships in the port, admiring the beautiful blue of the Mediterranean. We’d heard that the beaches in the actual city weren’t so great, so we took a bus toward L’Estaque and found a gorgeous sandy spot to relax and catch some sun.

We’ve kept ourselves so busy all across Europe with museums, galleries and tourism so we thought we’d try and give ourselves a rest and take it easy here. We’ve strolled around the various neighborhoods, browsed in some lovely markets and had a lovely picnic in Parc Borély, a beautiful park near the sea.

The food here is far more diverse than it was in Paris, as the immigration to this area has led to a really interesting mixed food culture. We had some pizza that was almost as yummy as the Italians made it, and have seen lots of North African and Middle Eastern cuisine too.

Marseille’s traditional dish is the fish soup Bouillabaisse, so before we leave tomorrow we’re going to go to a restaurant to give it a try. I’m not a big seafood fan but am trying to be more adventurous, so wish me luck!

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