**All images are (c) Vanessa Vila and may not be copied or used without express permission from the owner.**
Moving along through my personal “Blast from the past” trips… next up is the South of France! I went straight from Norway to Paris, then took the high speed TGV train to Toulon, where I spent nearly 4 weeks as an intern in the St. Anne military hospital. One of my day trips was Marseille, the 2nd largest city in France next to Paris. Unfortunately, when I do these TBT’s, it’s 7 years after the fact (*gulp* I might be getting old!) Doesn’t matter… these two trips were where the travel bug bit me GOOD 🙂 See for yourself:
That’s the basilica of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde in the lower right, as seen from the train station (time from Toulon only 43 min). Once I arrived, I decided not to take public transit to the basilica, and instead walk alllllll the way there. It was much further than it looked… Travel Tip #2: Take public transit on a hot day. Especially if you don’t know the distance you’re about to attempt. Maybe an hour or two later:
At least the views were pretty sweet:
I however, was NOT looking sweet at all…. and why the $^&% did I buy those sunglasses?!
Another drawback to doing this years later… no idea what this building is. Other than pretty!
I worked up quite an appetite doing my hiking, so I got a lovely 3 course meal in the Old Town. Wikipedia says: The Old Port or Vieux-Port, is the main harbour and marina of the city. It is guarded by two massive forts (Fort St Nicolas and Fort Saint Jean) and is one of the main places to eat in the city. Dozens of cafés line the waterfront. The Quai des Belges at the end of the harbour is the site of the daily fish market. Much of the northern quayside area was rebuilt by the architect Fernand Pouillon after its destruction by the Nazis in 1943.
Fish & tomatos for my main course = delish! The Africans who kept bugging me to buy their crap while I ate… not cool. I ended up paying something like $12 for two figurines that I later gifted to my cousins. Had to pay them off just to leave me alone!
I then took a bus tour of the city:
After the bus tour, I was done with my day trip. I felt like I saw a good chunk of the city. I do remember that the garbage truck workers were on strike, so the whole city reeked, as their trash sat in steaming heaps in the streets, the temperatures baking the stench in. Other than that… great food, lovely views, history, and architecture! Oh, and on the way back, I had to secretly chuckle at the French Soldiers… for some reason I just couldn’t take them seriously with their big floppy berets.
Til we meet again, Marseille. You were très magnifique!