Luke's Football Tour travel blog

Marseille, Provence, France

Our first photo stop

Mother Mary watching over the city

All those steps we walked up ... in the rain

The church itself

Inside the church, lighting a candle for everyone

The park dedicated to the people

The Norwegian Epic

Cocktail hour

The view from our balcony


It only rains in Marseille 45 days in the year, and we managed to be here on one of those. But it did not dampen our spirits, nor our tour of the day.

We decided to have an easy day, well, we had chosen the Easy Marseille tour so we hoped it would be. It was described as a 3½ hour tour of Marseille by coach. You could get off at various sites to take a photo, or stay on the coach and see everything from there. This said, I think it was possibly the most difficult day of walking we have done so far, but well worth it!!

Our tour left the boat at 8.45am, in the pouring rain. I had thrown in Mardi’s wet weather jacket, just in case, but other than that we only had what we were wearing for the entire tour. We boarded the bus and Laurent, our tour guide, and Laurent, our bus driver, both welcomed us.

Marseille … the oldest city in France, and the second largest, after Paris, has a population of 1 350 000 and is made up of 111 provinces, which all joined together to make up the city. Therefore, it is the coming together of a lot of different types of provinces and peoples.

Because of the weather we headed straight to the Basilica, perched high above the city on a hill, some 150 metres high. In order to get to the top (180 metres) we had to walk up 250 steps in the pouring rain. Once inside the lobby we caught a lift to the 6th floor to see 360 degree views of the entire city. We were also able to photograph the Mother Mary, a gold statue, perched on the very top. She is there to look after the city, and look over the people. Luckily for us the rain had stopped by then and even though it was still misty, we were able to take some great photos. The church at the top was amazing. The colours and architecture were astounding. Mardi lit another candle for everyone so we are all set in that department.

We visited the little shop, bought a magnet and some postcards, and were back down the steps in time to catch the bus to our next stop … the Park. It was amazingly beautiful too. The then King built it as a dedication to the people after the Great Plague. It was dedicated to fresh water in Marseille and has a great fountain in the foreground, with a very large regal looking building at the back.

The coach then took us to the City Hall where we had 45 minutes of free time. Mardi and I had already done our shopping so we headed for a lovely little coffee shop and had a coffee (which was really quite good) and a biscuit, renowned in Marseille. It was like a shortbread, only not so sweet, but with coffee it tasted delicious. I bought six more for the boat, so we could have one with our coffee each afternoon.

From there it was back to the boat. Everyone had to be aboard by 3.00pm this afternoon as we had to set sail early to be in Barcelona by morning. Mardi and I changed out of our very wet shoes (everything else was dry by then), and we headed to lunch. As I have a little internet service I decided to try my luck this afternoon and see if I can get the last four days uploaded to the journal so everyone can see how fabulous our holiday has been thus far! We are loving it. Even the rain did nothing to dampen our trip today. We thoroughly enjoyed it!!

Unfortunately, you can see the journal did not get uploaded, so the internet was not my friend. I tried hard to make it happen throughout the afternoon but it wasn’t to be. Mardi did some Sudoku and watched the golf on TV (trying to help get the Europeans over the line in the Ryder Cup) whilst I typed and downloaded photos galore.

We went to dinner in O’Sheehans Bar and Grill this evening. At least we can say we went somewhere different for dinner, once. It was OK. We had nachos to share at the beginning. Then Mardi had Shepherd’s Pie and I had Fish and Chips. Both were adequate, but we wouldn’t have them again. For dessert Mardi had apple pie and I had fruit. Once again, they were OK but we won’t be returning to the Bar and Grill again this trip. Tomorrow night we are booked into the Main Dining Room and after that, we’ll see what pans out.

It is an early start in the morning so this evening we got ourselves ready and then headed to bed early.



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