From Paris, the bf and I took a (very uncomfortable) Eurolines bus ride to the port city of Marseille. Why Marseille? To be honest I am not sure why we picked that city, but I’m certain that we did not have high expectations. Apparently CNN thinks that Marseille is the new Paris but c’mon you don’t think we took CNN’s advice into account for real?
We thought that our short stay in Marseille would be chill and relaxing after 5 hectic days in Paris. Indeed, the much needed sunlight and the 50 shades of Mediterranean blue rejuvenated our bodies and souls beyond expectations.
Even until now, my memory of Marseille is still saturated with that incredible azure. Oh that Mediterranean sky: cyan in the morning, deep blue when the sun at its height, baby blue when the light faded. The ocean was a color of sapphire, sparkling like precious gems under bright lights.
Such a gorgeous weather that all these beautiful structures suddenly paled in comparison:
A hike up to the imposing Notre-Dame de la Garde–a 19th century Romanesque and Neo-Byzantine styled Catholic basilica–gave us an incredible view of this lovely city:
A panoramic view of Marseille from here would sure take your breath away:
Not to mention, of course, the sheer grandeur and beauty of the basilica itself:
Yet the second best thing about Marseille, perhaps, was the cheap food we unforgivingly stuffed our faces with. Cheap, you raised your brows? Well, after having a good fill of French cuisine in Paris, we decided to go cheap and casual in Marseille. Our hotel was a few minutes away from the lively and colorful Arab Quarter or Noailles. It was delightful to step inside this completely different world in the middle of the city. Fresh seafood, colorful fruits, exotic aromas, continuously stream of shoppers, vibrating sound of vendors talking, of food sizzling, of a life that was living were a feast for all senses.
And did I mention a big plate of paella (more like fried rice but hey I love fried rice) for 4 euro?
A fresh oven margherita for 5 euro?
Or better yet, 10 euro for 2 margherita and one roasted chicken?