John & Connie Europe 2013 travel blog







The ship had done a lot of rock and rolling during the night and when we woke in the morning we were surprised to see that we were still a long way from land. Due to the high winds and waves overnight, the ship had had to reduce speed so we were about two hours late docking in Marseilles. Luckily, we had booked a shorter excursion into the countryside so although we were delayed by two hours, our tour did not have to be shortened in order to get back to the ship before sailing.

Unfortunately our guide spoke with a very heavy French accent and was not that informative. I think her name was Lorraine or something but I am not sure. As the bus drove through the port of area of Marseille, the difference between the French economy and the bankrupted Italian and Greek economies was obvious. France is a “have” country and the new modern construction in the port area reinforced that idea. Many high rise buildings were being constructed. The tour bus then took us to the picturesque seaside village of Bandol. Being a favorite summer holiday resort for the French, the main street was lined with expensive souvenir and clothing shops. We were given 50 minutes to find a bathroom, pick up some lunch and buy a bottle of wine before we had to board the bus again.

Next we headed to Le Castellet, advertised as a typical Provencal hilltop village. The village was very quaint with the older but well preserved shops and had some very nice artisan products for sale and some interesting looking sidewalk cafes that would have been nicer for lunch, but oh well! For the hour long trip back to the ship, our guide preferred to ignore us even when we asked for the air conditioning to be turned up. This was the one guide that we did not tip!

Back at the ship it was time to start packing up for debarkation in the morning. The final dinner in the dining room was very entertaining as the wait staff once again sang and danced for us. It was sad to say farewell to these people that had served us so well for 12 evenings.

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