As usual for Europe, it seems, our Internet access has been really terrible. I’ve been waiting to post because I thought it’d be better in Barcelona but it isn’t. So now I’m going to catch up in text, and then post the pictures when I get home.
Day two was pretty long for us. We woke up kinda early and went straight to the beach. On the map it looked like most of the coast near our hotel was “beach” — but that wasn’t the case. It ended up being a solid 45 min walk to a place we felt was worth stopping at (Prado Beach). This is in like 95 degree heat. Other than the heat, the walk was really nice. It was right on the water, the “sidewalk” was more of a walking path along the ocean, and the scenery was what you’d expect from a coastal town with the climate in Southern France. Parts of it actually looked just like California (which you’ll see in the photos when I upload them). Anyway, when we got there Lucia jumped in the water pretty much immediately, but I just wanted to lie down. And I did. And it was wonderful. Lucia got back, we did some reading, and we decided to head back to the Old Port for some more site seeing.
Aside: No beach pictures because who wants to be the creepy guy with a camera at the beach?
We decided to take the bus back to the Old Port because the weather was even hotter, and the walk to the port would be at least an hour or more. This turned out to be wonderful, easy, and convenient! We ended up using the busses quite a bit through our stay.
In the port we decided to start at a place called Pavilion “M.” Marseille is currently the European Cultural Capital — which means they’re having events all year, and beefing up their museums as well. Pavilion “M” is the sort of center of this activity. Within the pavilion, there were two exhibits: 1.) a tourism and technology exhibit showing how you can use mobile devices to assist with your visit, and 2.) a general overview of the culture and history of Marseille itself.
We skipped the technology exhibit (because we didn’t have a mobile phone to use), but the other one was very cool. It was mostly videos, and it was generally entertaining. There was also air conditioning — which kept us in there maybe a bit longer than we would have otherwise.
After the exhibits we stopped by the “help” desk to have the folks there help guide us through the rest of our visit. We booked tickets to the Jazz festival (Wayne Shorter!!!!), and the super helpful staff told us where to go next!
Our next stop was the Marseille Cathedral which was also a candy-cane looking building… Not sure why that was a theme. The inside was incredible, and later on we actually got to see a painting by Cezanne which capture the scene we saw almost exactly! It was nice to know that things haven’t changed too much in such a long time.
From there we walked a bit and took photos for Adri for her birthday before heading into one of the forts to take a look around. Usually forts are the worst attraction for me. You walk in expecting something really exciting, and you find out that it’s really just some walls, and some rooms. This one has been refurbished, and, as you’ll see in the pictures, some very modern amenities have been added. It was nice, we sat and had a beer. The views of the port were beautiful, and it ended up being a great place to sit and watch the boats go by.
After a bit more walking around in the heat, we decided to call it a day and head back to the Hotel for a dip in the pool. Since we wanted to take a break from having dinners at the hotel, but it was still too early to get dinner at a restaurant (places open at 7 or 7:30 for dinner), we ended up caving and getting McDonald’s — it was…good? At least it was cheap!