Hello and welcome back to the fourth of seven vacances de printemps recap posts! MTC and I went on a grand tour du sud – stops eight and nine on the journey were Marseille and Cannes! Without further ado, let’s get to it 🙂
Vendredi 13 avril 2018
MTC and I made it to Marseille around 18h00 and got checked-in and settled into our Airbnb right away. We had a quick half hour to relax before the friend and former colleague of MTC (who will be referred to as FA from here on out) came to pick us up for a driving tour through Marseille before dinner.
To begin the tour, FA drove us up to the Notre Dame de la Garde. We were worried that it would be closed when we arrived, and we wouldn’t be able to visit, but thankfully we arrived fifteen minutes before the 19h15 closing time.
We visited the interior of the church – probably one of the most uniquely styled churches I’ve had the privilege of visiting in France – and of course, we enjoyed the beautiful view from the top.
We headed back to the car and continued our visit driving along the coast toward les Calanques. It was awesome to have a personal tour guide because he was able to give us an insiders tour of the city – if I had been in Marseille on my own, I’m not sure I would have been able to visit les Calanques, so I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I had on this vacation.
I didn’t know much about les Calanques before visiting Marseille, but they are SO worth a visit! It is an incredibly beautiful location in Marseille and so unlike anything else I’ve seen in France so far.
Our dinner reservation was at a restaurant over by les Calanques, so we headed in the direction of the restaurant (called La Grotte). This view was just outside the restaurant, and honestly, does it get more picturesque and lovely than that??
I didn’t take any pictures of my meal, but it was quite good! We enjoyed pizza, wine, and dessert. MTC and FA had huge plates of profiterole – three puff pastries the size your fist, each with a scoop of ice cream inside, lots of dark chocolate sauce, toasted almonds, and whipped cream. I had a few bites and boy, was it delicious!
After our dinner, FA drove us back toward our Airbnb, but we did make a quick stop at a dock just to enjoy the view.
MTC and I made it back to our Airbnb not long after and went to sleep right away.
Samedi 14 avril 2018
On Saturday morning, we met FA at a small café near our AirBnb for coffee and navettes, a typically Marseille, orange flavored biscuit.
We wanted to visit the Mucem after breakfast, but it didn’t open until 11am, so we decided to walk around the port/docks and up the main street in Marseille. We headed back down to walk across the opposite side of the port and took a 50-cent ride on “Le Ferry Boat” across the port afterward.
At this point, the Mucem was open, so we bought our tickets and paid the museum a visit.
It was a mixed museum about the history of Marseille, an exposition about romans-photos, and another exposition about Van Gogh. It was an interesting mix of ideas, but I really enjoyed the romans-photos exhibition.
We visited for an hour and a half or so before leaving to try and find something to set for lunch. As we couldn’t find anything that was both reasonably-priced and sounded good, we ended up eating lunch at the Airbnb.
Our afternoon plans were to visit the Chateau d’If, so we headed back to the ports after lunch to buy our tickets for the boat ride to the castle. We had to wait about an hour for the next boat to arrive, so we spent some time sitting at the port and talking. When our boat arrived, we boarded and were on our way!
Located just off the coast of the city, the Chateau d’If (free access with the pass d’education) is well-known as the setting for the book Les comtes de Monte-Carlo. It served as a prison for a very long time before becoming the tourist attraction it is today.
I’m really happy that we had the opportunity to visit because it was so beautiful! The water, the view, the castle itself…just remarkable.
We visited for about two hours and ended up taking the last boat back to the port. Once back to the city center, we walked up to visit a church, but they were in the middle of Mass, so we didn’t visit the interior.
We were walking back to the apartment so we could buy groceries for dinner when MTC had a craving for pastis that he couldn’t just shake. Therefore, we stopped at a bar at the same Square we had coffees at that morning and we both had a drink – a pastis for him and a mojito for me.
We stopped and watched a bit of the sunset on our way to the supermarket.
After a quick stop at the supermarket, we made it home, cooked dinner, and watched some Netflix before heading to bed.
Dimanche 15 avril 2018
On Sunday morning, we got up, ready, and packed up the car (as usual) and headed across town for the Hillsong: Marseille service. I always repeat myself when I talk about Hillsong services, but it was perfect and the sermon (all about love, and specifically, loving your neighbor) was something that I needed to hear.
When the service ended, we headed back to the car and headed off to our next destination: Cannes!
Less than two hours later, we arrived in Cannes! Of course, we visited the tourism office to pick up a map and set off on our own little walking tour of the city.
Given that there are only a handful of big monuments to see in Cannes, we headed down to the beach to enjoy the sand and the sea.
We enjoyed a little apéro on the beach as well 🙂
Shortly after, we walked back to the car and started the short drive to big city number five: Nice!
Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Check back tomorrow for the next vacation recap post!
Until next time,