Ah, Marseille. Apparently it doesn’t have a great reputation (so told me one of my Instagram followers that weirdly lived in the same complex we were staying in), but we had a fab time and I’d recommend it – particularly if you can get a cheap Eurostar deal like we did.
All of the photos in this post are taken from Instagram – both mine and B’s accounts, as neither of us can resist a square photo or a filter (although he uses the frames – what’s up with that?). I love the rose-tinted, artistic license of Instagram – and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with presenting the best image of yourself and/or your surroundings. Add a holiday to said images and you’ve got the recipe for picture perfection; what doesn’t look good glistening in the sun? It’s not the truth, of course. The truth is a sunburned arm, many many plasters on feet, the world’s oiliest face that no sunglasses would stay on… All the things that come from being in a climate you’re utterly unused to coming from the cold UK. But who wants to see that?! Onto the perfection!
Starting off with the first and last thing we visited on this trip – the old port. There’s a new port too, but the old one is so pretty who needs a new one, pah! (Yes, we forgot to go – although I think the new port is what’s in the second photo.) It’s really cute and has loads of restaurants nearby, plus we took a ferry to the Frioul islands on our last day and went to a secluded beach… which was perfect, until an entire school showed up and decided to have a paddle (did I say paddle? I meant giant water fight). Apparently, it wasn’t enough to just have a school next to our apartment yelling all day long, we had to have one on the beach too, complete with teachers in speedos supervising. Can you imagine anything worse? No amount of Instagram could have saved that picture.
Marseille is on the coast and has beaches, though many of the ones closest to us were man-made with these little pebbles that were hotter than the sun to walk on and that we kept finding in strange places for days afterwards. But, still, not quite as omnipresent as sand, so they kinda grew on us. I ummed and aahed about including the bikini photo in this set, but really a diary of this holiday wouldn’t be complete without it. B will testify that my preference for bikinis is that they’re so high-waisted I might as well be wearing a swimsuit, but I promised him that if I reached my goal weight before we went I’d wear the tiny one I bought mostly by accident (note to self: ASOS models are so tiny that they make even minuscule bikini bottoms look big). So there it is – I did it! And considering there were great-grandmas on the beach wearing smaller ones than me, I didn’t feel too bad about it either…
I mentioned after our Valencia trip last year that going to parks to have picnics and read books is one of our mutual favourite pastimes when the weather is nice, so it’s pretty much all we want to do on holiday in a hot place. We’re exciting like that. We didn’t even go to the city’s famous museum as we’d planned because we’d rather essentially do nothing… I do feel a bit guilty about that, actually, but not that bad because – giant two-person bike. Never mind the fact that minutes before getting on one I was cursing the fact you couldn’t move for nearly being run over by them, it’s all very different when you’ve got The Power (at least, of The Pedals). There’s a clip of me looking very unpowerful trying to drive one of these things on my own in the video below – it’s definitely a two-man job!
You go to Cassis for the calanques, which are rocky inlets along the coast-line that are really stunning (second photo) – some had their own private beaches. Cassis, generally, is rather pretty and was the perfect location to wear my holiday skirt with its riviera scene. It’s a bit of a tourist trap, but I’d still say it’s well worth the trip. Even if the trip was not on the nice air-conditioned coach that you couldn’t find anywhere, despite visiting every bus stop in Marseille and instead involved turning up to Cassis’s remote train station where you had to pray one of the 8 local taxi drivers would take you to the port. It was really windy the day we were there, which made it a fantastic day to wear a hat. That is, of course, sarcasm – it’s why my hand is permanently glued to it in both this photo and the video!
Featuring the view from our apartment – which B was at pains to tell my uncultured self features a very architecturally important building that was the first apartment complex. It looks like a prison, but apparently it’s a mini town on the inside. And while we weren’t very good at selfies this time – we’ve realised our faces just aren’t very compatible in photos, which might make things awkward if we get married – we did get one we were both happy with, at least.