Over the past few days, I have been exploring different parts of Marseille with Charlotte and her family. It’s the second biggest city in France and the largest in-terms of physical size.
On Tuesday, along with her brothers, we ventured to Notre Dame de la Garde, the Patron Saint of Marseille that looks out for all the sailors who come into the port. She sits atop a basilica on a hilltop that gives you a view of all of Marseille. A beautiful view. You see the ocean, the city, and the mountains. Not many places where you can get all three.
A look up:We then took a walk along the beach which was full of families on vacation for the holidays. In true French fashion, we waited at a cafe for 15 minutes without any service and decided to leave without ordering anything.
Today, Charlotte and I walked around the old part of Marseille called Le Panier. There is an old baroque structure in the center of this neighborhood, La Vielle Charité, that was constructed in the 17th century to house the homeless and poor. Unlike other castles and cathedrals that I have been to in France, this place is quite simple but clearly built with the intentions of housing lots and lots of people. Its simplicity is actually quite nice and we spent a long time wandering the stark hallways and stairwells.
We took a walk along Le Vieux Port, which is beautiful now, but I can only imagine is even more magnificent in the summer when people are coming and going in boats much more frequently. During lunch time, everyone eats out on the boardwalk, getting some sun while they eat. At the end of the pier, there is a small fish market where you know you are getting some super fresh fish!
And last night we celebrated the last night of Chanukah!