Monday, August 10, 2015

Marseille, France

While we were staying in Lyon, we took a day trip down to Marseille. It took just under two hours by train to get there.

As soon as we got out of the train station, it was SO hot and humid! We knew it was going to be hot, but we did not anticipate the humidity! Or the smells! We exited the train station and started walking down the street and the smell of sewage and garbage was SO overpowering! Very disgusting!

We walked down the road a bit and stopped by a bakery for a snack. Then we walked down to the water.
There was a ton of boats in the port! Everything from junky little dinghies to large expensive looking yachts!
Cathedral Saint-Marie-Majeur de Marseille.
After visiting the Cathedral Saint-Marie-Majeur de Marseille, we decided to take the bus along the waterfront and up a very steep hill to Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde. Since it was so hot (and almost 3 miles, mostly up a steep hill) we didn't really want to walk that far. 

It was a very interesting bus ride because the bus seemed to go kinda fast and made these very, very, sharp turns where it seemed like there was no way the bus was going to fit! But, it did and we were greeted with a pretty great view.
Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde.
I really thought I took more pictures inside the church, but apparently this is all I took! It was a pretty big place. It had the large sanctuary which is pictured above, and it also had a lower one as well. It was kinda dark and creepy in the lower one since it was in the basement! 

Once we were done walking around the church, I was feeling pretty terrible. I don't handle the heat very well, and with the high humidity, I wasn't feeling the greatest.  So we took the bus back down the hill and found a place to eat some lunch. 

We came across an American bagel sandwich place, so we stopped there. The food wasn't the greatest, but it was nice to finally have something to eat. We sat there in the air conditioning for a bit before deciding to walk to the beach.

The beach ended up being pretty small and really crowded with people. It looked man-made too. My dad and I waited on a bench while my mom, sister, and brother went down to put their feet in the Mediterranean Sea. 

Once we did that, we didn't really know what else to do. We still had maybe 5 or so hours until our train left to go back to Lyon, so we walked to a park and sat in the shade for a little while. There was a bit of a breeze on the hill, so that was pretty nice. And the view wasn't too bad.
So, we admired the view for a bit, then decided we were bored of that and walked back into town. We stopped at a shop that sold French soap (my mom wanted to get some French lavender soap) So we did that, wandered around town for a while, then ended up at McDonalds because it was air conditioned. Everyone was pretty tired of the heat, and we didn't know where else to go, so we sat there for a while before heading to the train station to go back to Lyon. 

I wasn't real impressed with Marseille. I think it would have been a little bit better had it not been so hot and humid, and the smells certainly didn't help. The city itself is really really dirty. There was garbage literally everywhere and the stench of sewage was horrible. It is definitely not a place you want to be wandering around alone at night! 

We did get to see some neat sights. Both of the churches we visited were pretty neat and it was cool to see the Mediterranean Sea. I know there are some neat places around Marseille too, but I don't think I would go back. 

Considering this was really the only 'dud' in our trip, I would say we didn't do too bad!

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