Sunday, May 24, 2015

Marseille: Group day trip

Yesterday I went to Marseille, which is a coastal city in southern France. Whereas Montpellier lies about 15km from the sea, Marseille is right there on the coast: 

Every week our school has optional "excursions" that you can go on if you pay for it, and this was one of those trips. Most places you can easily get to on your own for much less than what the school charges, but I decided that the Marseille trip was worth the price tag.

Here are a few Marseille basics (courtesy of Wikipedia), interspersed among photos:

Population: 850,636 (2nd after Paris)

Historical importance: Main trade port of the French Empire

The Frioul archipelago in the Bay of Marseille consists of four islands. One of these, "If," is the location of Château d'If from the book "The Count of Monte Cristo."

Marseille was the European Capital of Culture in 2013.

All of these pictures were taken from the cathedral Notre-Dame de la Garde, which is up on a hill—the highest point in Marseille.

The interior was really interesting—below you can see all of the photos of ships that hung on the wall.

There were also mobiles hanging from the ceiling of sailboats and airplanes, something I've never seen in a church before:

For lunch, I "splurged"—eh, more like treated myself (15 euros)—to a menu of the day with most people on our tour.

One of the famous seafood dishes in Marseille is Bouillabaisse, a fish stew. I got the other "famous" dish in Marseille for my main course, Aïoli.

Here were my three courses:

The aïoli sauce (below) is made from raw garlic, lemon juice, eggs and olive oil. It's served with boiled fish (mine was cod), hard boiled eggs and cooked vegetables. Delicious!

The city was having some sort of firefighter event that afternoon:

Here you can see the Notre-Dame, that church where we started our day up on the hill, from the other side of Marseille:

I saw my second striped church in the same day!

It was closed though, so we couldn't go in.

It was neat to see a new place, but I'm really glad to live in Montpellier and not Marseille.
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