The South Of France; A Weekend in Marseille
January 1, 1970
Day One: The Calanques
The Calanques, one of the most beautiful peices of mother natures artwork that France has to offer. The Calanques stretch from Marseille to Cassis Terrirory, considered a national park since 2012. This is a popular destination for travelers of all ages; hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing, perfect for anyone seeking an adventure. Of course, when you come here just come prepared with a few bottles of water, the heat can be intense along the méditerranéen. My first experience at the Calanques I was unable to tour due to a wild fire warning, the national park was shut down so just be aware of the weather before you head out for day. Remember to check to see if there is a wildfire warning or a heat wave coming in. I ended up returning to the park the following weekend and got right into exploring.
I spent most of the day hiking, just taking in the scenary that surrounded me. The incredible thing about this place is how peaceful it was. Even though it was crowded and full of travelers like myself, it was undeniably beautiful and you can easily spend the entire day just walking around; starring at the blue water and rock formations. I had lunch sitting on these rocks, with my feet dangling above the water, as you can see its the perfect spot for a picnic.
Talk about a goregous beach. Not in the mood for all that extreme sporting? Maybe you’re just trying to catch some sun, or you’re finally done hiking throughout the Calanques and youve decided it’s time to go for a swim. One of the most beautiful views Ive seen, I have to admit, im pretty jealous of the person who lives in that house overlooking the Sea.
Day Two: The Old Port of Marseille
History buff? How about visiting The Old Port, the most popular tourist attraction in Marseille. Once a place of ruin during World War II, completley destroyed by the Nazis. It was called “Round up of Marseille” nearly 1500 buildings were destroyed by dynamite, 40,000 homes raided, 6,000 arrests and in an attempt of “race purification” around 2000 people died within 36 hours. The Old Port dates all the way back to 600, and is an incredibly historical must see attraction in the South of France.
What To DO
Today The Old Port is full of character and charm, from restaurants and bars, to street performers and street markets. Take the family on a ferry ride, or a tour of some of the famous boats docked at this port. If youre not afraid of heights, enjoy a ride on the ferris wheel to get a 360 degrees view of the city. I even took my dog Yogi with me, and he loved every minute of it. The wind blowing in his hair, a beautiful sunny day, with bright blue waters below. The best part is, it only cost 7 Euros. An inexpensive fun ride, with a beautiful view.
Shopping, Eating, and Afternoon Cocktails
Let me just start off by saying that The Old Port of Marseille is honestly has the one of the BEST street markets in France. If you enjoy home made foods, handcrafted jewelery, wood art, unique paintings, talented street performers this market is for you. I had a very pleasent experience at this particular market, not just because my eyes were captivated by all the handmade items, but the people here are some of the nicest Ive met in the South ofFrance.
If youre looking to try some dried meats with unique flavors stop by La BISTOUQUETTE. When I stopped by this stand, it was an extremely windy day and my fiance and I stood under the tent talking to the man who was working, he ended up being really nice and gave us a handfull of free flavors to try. Needless to say we ended up buying a few bags. For real, I normally dont eat meat, but these were delicious. Thats also a warning for any of you Vegan/ Vegetarian travelers coming to France, the struggle is real. The food here is delicious, and worth every bite. Sometimes you just have to have that “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” mentality. To the real true Vegans out there, finding a delicious meal in France without meat cheese or any other kind of animal products….Bonne Chance (good luck) my friends.
Speaking of FOOD And DRINKS
Well, I cant tell you all the bars I went during my weekend in Marseille, there were quite a few, but I can tell you that The Shamrock (Irish Pub) was surprisingly awesome. I didnt expect my favorite bar in the South of France to be an Irish Pub, but outside the bar there were tvs set up while a large crowd of people watched the rubgy game. If youve never seen French men watching rugby, I suggest you go to The Shamrock, you will be laughing yourself drunk, The French might be famous for their Wine and Cheese but dont be fooled, theres a whole lot beer drinking going on here in the South.
If you’re looking for a traditional french sandwhich, or french a burger Look no further! try La restaurant Hippopotamus. Yes, the food taste as unique as the name of the restaurant, but really they have AMAZING food. If you happen to stop in here, try a burger, if you really want to get the full french experience, have it served TAR TAR.
More More More Attractions!
Check out this giant mirror! If youre wondering what the point of this is, Im still trying to figure that out myself, but hey Ive certainly never seen anything like it, and I must say its pretty damn cool!
Ah, Marseille, you may not be Paris with your thousands of years old architecture, or Saint Tropez poppin’ bottles, but youre perfect for a weekend away. A perfect stop for anyone traveling along the mediterranean who wants to experience the true culture of the south of France. I really enjoyed walking your streets of charm, trying traditional french cousines at your local restaurants and markets. Meeting some of the nicest people with the friendliest of faces. Sometimes the best way to experience a culture its not to go to the most popular city or the most crowded, but the ones where all the locals go on a Sunday afternoon. Or going on adventures in a National Park, and drinking Irish Beer with all the French Rugby enthusiasts. It was truly a treat. Thanks for the memories.
Until Next Time Friends.