I’m going to be honest: Marisa and I completely wasted our first day in Marseille. And I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
After a 4:50am wake up call, a trek through Gatwick Airport, and short weather delays in London, we landed in Marseille and were welcomed by rain. And lightening. And more rain.
We made our way to the AirBnB (which was ADORABLE) and lost control of our day the moment we sat on the couch. Marisa was jet lagged, I had yet to recover from a long week at work, and there was the rain. Lots of rain.
We did try to walk around and do a bit of shopping (I found the cutest home shop – Sean and I will be ordering lots!), but quickly gave up and picked up wine and cheese and headed back to the AirBnB. I fell asleep, we cancelled dinner plans, and we just relaxed for the rest of the night.
Obviously, we had to squeeze in a lot the next day to make up for our laziness on the first day. We awoke bright and early (9:00 am) and headed to Dunk for breakfast. It’s a bagel bar that received excellent rating on Tripadvisor, but we had a rather awkward experience. The bagels were great but the girl working didn’t speak ANY English (and we don’t speak any French) so we barely made it through the ordering process let alone knew what we actually ordered.
After, we walked around Le Panier, which is kind of like the old town. There were winding streets with tiny boutiques and restaurants – it was adorable! This area really summed up Marseille: it was made to be beautiful, and really has the potential to be beautiful, but had been ruined by modern civilization. The streets were gorgeous and the houses so cute, but there was graffiti and litter everywhere, completely changing the atmosphere. Le Panier was definitely my favorite area regardless, and I picked up some soaps from the cutest soap shop to bring home to the new house!
After lots of hard work walking, we stopped for our mid-day glass of wine (accompanied by mussels) before heading back to the AirBnB for a quick nap. Obviously, napping was a huge trend on this trip!
Post-nap, we used our newfound energy to climb up to Notre Dame de la Garde, but not before a quick pastry stop! We we to Le Four des Navettes, which makes these little lemon biscuits that are blessed each year! They were rather underwhelming but I imagine they are great with tea or coffee.
The trek to the top of the hill to see Notre Dame was….rough. Let’s just say it proved how badly I need to join a gym. Once we arrived at the top sweaty and panting, the views of Marseile were phenomenal. And there was no graffiti in sight!!! We couldn’t see inside the basilica because there was a mass going on, but the views alone were well worth the climb.
We rewarded ourselves with an evening beer before having dinner along the port. While we didn’t see much of Marseille, I feel like we got a pretty decent feel of it. And it may not be my favorite city, but I am happy to have experienced it!