Tag Archives: Marseille

First piece of “Cake d’Azur”

If in Avignon you need to be a skilled driver to get through narrow streets of Old town (where pedestrians have priority by the way), then in Marceille you should be an amateur runner at least. The amount of people running along the coast at evenings is incredible – just look thoroughly to get out of way at a proper moment.

Marceille finally made a pleasant surprise for us (perhaps, scared by my negative reference in previous post :). Searching for a place on a beach to spent night, we met another backpackers. They appeared to be not only backpackers but couchsurfers too. New acquaintances invited us to a beach party where we were kindly taken under care of Kurijn – very nice and friendly guy from Antwerp. This night we spent not on a beach but in his house.

The next day we were leaving hospitable Marseille – and heading to Cote d’Azur!

Not yet Cote d'Azur - a small place Bagnol not far from Marseille

There were two options to get out of Marseille:

  1. The national road to Toulon A50 – we should take metro till the station ‘Perier’, then walk along Avenue de Prado, reach Boulevard V.Delpuech and walk till getting to a huge road crossing where A50 starts.
  2. Coastal motorway D559 – to take the bus 48 till its last stop on ‘Chairon Vallon de Redon’, walk from the hospital down the street straight and left till we reach Boulevard de Redon. There we start hitch-hiking (not in direction of Luminy! – the road makes a ‘fork’)

Southern coast of France is amazing so we had no doubts about variant 2.

In couple of minutes we got a lift to Castellet. It was short ride but one of the most picturesque. From Castellet – 7 kilometres to Bagnol, cosy and beautiful place. Very south, very Mediterranean. There we stopped for a swim.

After 20 minutes walk to the exit of the town we caught a car till “apres Toulon” – “after Toulon”. On a road met another hitch-hiker – tired and not very friendly. He was aiming on Cannes. Good luck to him!

We were not so ambitious and in two minutes got a lift to Hyers – a picturesque town with a wide alley full of palms and flowers. We made a long walk through it till the local skatepark. Perhaps, there was no need in such a long promenade, because finally we stopped near “zebra” before a crossroad – we passed several places like that before.

Fairy tale of Le Lavandou

…Mediterranean sea wispers behind. The sun grills, but – thanks to chilling breeze from the sea – we almost don’t feel its ruthless heat. Green hills, the sea turquois near the shore and deep blue far from it, fraus-palms, ocean of flowers (some of them smell increadibly!) and red rocks. We’re relaxing on a rock near the shore in a place Le Lavandou. Before we passed a promenade, created by people along the rock right above the sea.

The view from our rock

Output: take the road D559. The most picturesque parts are: Marseille – Castellet and Hyers – Le Lavandou.

Enjoy the ride!

8.07.2011

About love, men and Marseille

We left Avignon quite late – after six. Just 100 kilometres to Marseille.

Hugo was so nice to drop us to A7 – the national road to Marseille, right to that pleage where we hopped off on way to Avignon.

In five minutes we’re already driven to Marseille. Intelligent woman who picked us up listened to Bach and tried to speak to us English. We passed a huge-huge-enomous port. And drove through the city centre Vieux Port – a big harbor with hell of yachts. Does a paradise look like that?

Vieux Port - the centre of Marseille

The next day we discovered there marine shops – millions of cute and necessary things but sooo expensive! Not cheap to maintain a yacht in the centre of Marseille..

Finally the woman  dropped us to the station we needed – “the place of gathering” of Marseille – station “Notre-Dame-du-Mont”. By foot it would not easy to reach because the square and a church itself are situated on a hill. This square is a place where young people gather for a frink and street artists perform. Streets nearby are full of bars and street art.

At this place my friend Emma suggested to meet. I was really glad to see her! And she really helped me to lighten my bagpack – now I can even walk with it : )

The small port not far from Corniche, picturesque waterfront road.

Through CS emergency group we found a couch – Blaise invited us to stay at his house, a house in two steps from a lovely lagoon. So –

first time in my life I swan in Mediterranean sea! Uuuhhhhoooo! What can I say – it’s turquouse, it’s transparant, it’s beautiful. But sooo salty! I couldn’t even open my eyes when swam back from a small island neaby (of crs, it was necessary to climb it : ) Crabs and jelly fish made me  a company.

Islands of the Frioul archipelago in the Bay of Marseille, accessible by ferry from the Old Port. The prison of Château d'If was the setting for The Count of Monte Cristo, the novel by Alexandre Dumas. Another one has ruins of quarantine hospital.

What can I say about Marseille… Cities are like men for me: I want to fall in love with them… It didn’t happen here.

Marseille reminds me Cape town – huge port, international, lively, surrounded by sea and mountains. I always dreamt about this type of city. But always fell in love with different ones.

The same is with men in my life. I know what kind of person could make me stay, could make me better. But always fall in love with wrong men – and ready to betray myself for them.

The harbour Vallon des Auffes

For this moment only one city occupies my thoughts – you know, it’s Paris. But during this journey I will visit many coastal cities, my “dream” cities. We’ll see if it change something or not.

And, down the line, the city is not an architecture or nature but its people…That’s why Paris will be always in my heart.

Castles and cathedrals of Marseille - the Cathedrale de la Majeure and Fort Jean