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Part 3 - Marseille

0001 -Marseille - Stripe

Marseille


The South of France greeted us with great weather and sunshine. The morning sun bathed the coast in a warm beautiful light, and not too far away we could already see "Notre Dame de la Garde”, the church overlooking the old port of Marseille from high above.

038 Marseille

039 Marseille

 

We had plenty of time. After our usual morning routine at the gym, we braced ourselves with an abundant breakfast at the Windjammer Café. A firefighting plane gave us a little performance rehearsing touch-and-go landings on the water right next to us in the narrow remaining strip of the dock. A few times in a row it came in to take on water to immediately get started again. Just when I was ready to take a photo, it got down to business…

040 Marseille

 

Later in the morning we disembarked and grabbed a taxi to the “Vieux Port”, the Old Port of Marseille. One note on this: The daily Cruise Compass, which we found on our beds the night before, explained that we’d be docking outside Marseille, which we already knew. But it also said that it would be “extremely” difficult to catch a taxi and that the ride to Marseille could take over an hour. The whole situation was portrayed in quite a dissuasive manner over several lines and ended on the note that a shuttle boat had been set up for the guests, offering them a pleasant way to reach the old port for only $25.00 per person. Little rascals! At the taxi stand we immediately got a cab. As opposed to the entrance to the shuttle boat, there wasn’t a long queue, and within 25 minutes we were in Marseille - for EUR 22.00 for the four of us.

041 Marseille Old Port

 

Right next to the taxi stand we found the “Petit Train” (Little Train) stop.

043 Marseille Petit Train

 

For EUR 8.00 and 7.00 respectively, the train offers two different routes: one along the coast all the way up to Notre Dame de la Garde, the other through the old town. When we planned this trip, we had already decided that this train would be the easiest way for Hildegard to climb the hill to the church. At first, the tour goes past the Old Port and the fish market. Via speakers, explanations in various languages are given on the sights by the wayside.

044 Marseille Old Port

045 Marseille Old Port

046 Marseille Old Port

049 Marseille Old Port

 

The Petit Train then leaves the Old Port and follows a stretch of the coastal road. From there, you get a nice view of Chateau d’If, which gained its fame from Alexandre Dumas’s novel “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

048 Marseille Chateau d´if

 

Next, it climbs the hill through a residential area towards the “Good Mother”, as the church of Notre Dame de la Garde is also called.

050 Marseille Petit Train

052 Marseille Notre Dame de la Garde

 

At the parking lot below the church you leave the train and have time to look around on your own. Approximately every 20 minutes there is a train which you can board to go back. To the church itself, you need to climb a few more steps.

053 Marseille Notre Dame de la Garde

 

The interior of the church is richly ornamented, and the walls are decorated with numerous paintings displaying maritime motives.

054 Marseille Notre Dame de la Garde

055 Marseille Notre Dame de la Garde

056 Marseille Notre Dame de la Garde

 

Most spectacular, though, is the view of Marseille and its surroundings.

057 Marseille

058 Marseille

059 Marseille

 

We even saw our Liberty in the far distance, behind which the Oceania Nautica seemed like a toy boat.

060 Marseille Cruise Ships

 

This little fellow enjoys the view every day and calls for silence.

061 Marseille Notre Dame de la Garde Statue

 

We took the next train back to the port and strolled along the promenade.

062 Marseille Old Port

063 Marseille Old Port

064 Marseille

 

On this first day, we didn’t want our fellow travelers to overdo it and enjoyed an ice cream in a café by the promenade.

065 Marseille Cafe La Samaritaine

 

An image on the menu heralded from ancient times.

066 Marseille Cafe La Samaritaine

 

Soon afterwards we found ourselves another taxi which took us back to the ship, again for some EUR 20.00. Back on board and tired from the impressions of this first day, my in-lawas went for a nap. In the evening we knocked on their door and picked them up for dinner. After all, the beautiful dining room wasn’t just to be looked at… We got a nice table in the MyTime Dining area.

067 Liberty of the Seas Dining Room

 

We had a nice table waiter and a very cordial assistant, both of whom sweetened our evening. The friendly service impressed Helmut and Hildegard just as much as the nice atmosphere and the excellent food. To end this successful first day we went to the Viking Crown Lounge and were happy that the boisterous mood of our parents seemed to be the result of a good start.

068 Liberty of the Seas Viking Crown Lounge

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