Marseille Travel Blog› entry 23 of 27 › view all entries
Saturday, October 7:
Although we really enjoyed our time in the Cinque Terre, I was excited to leave because we were going to visit my friends, Keith and Patty, in Marseille. I worked with both Keith and Patty at the MTW office for a couple of years before they moved to France. They have an open door, and when I walk through it, I feel that I am at home, and that I am truly welcome. They are great fun to hang out with, are willing to share the wisdom they have, and Patty does wonders when preparing food. Blessed to be a blessing, indeed.
Getting back to the story... We needed to catch the 7:22 train out of Manarole, and we were locked in our hostel until 7 o'clock (I don't know what we would have done if there was a fire of some kind - there were all sorts of signs around the hostel that 'it is not possible to leave the hostel before 7:00 am'). So we checked out of our hostel right at 7 am, hurried down the rather steep hill back to the train station (with our leg muscles still complaining from the hiking this week), and made it to the train station with a few minutes to spare. And after all of that effort to get there on time, the train was half an hour late. The harder we try to do something in our own strength, and in our own timing, the more God shows us that he's the one really in charge.
For lunch, we ate kebabs, and this was Jenn's first kebab, and she enjoyed it. The kebabs were rather large, so we saved half of them for later. This was a good thing, because when our train was an hour from Marseille, our train stopped, and we learned that there had been an 'accidente' on the tracks ahead of us. We were delayed for over two hours, during which time we became hungry, so we ate the other half of our kebabs. Once our train arrived in Marseille, Keith and Patty picked us up at the train station, took us back to their home, fed us, and let us crash.
Sunday, October 8:
We went to church with Keith and Patty today. They attend a french church, and a fellow named Joel led the service and preached the sermon. After church K/P drove us over to Cassis, which is just over the mountain range frmo Marseille. It was a great drive, with stunning views, as the road traversed the mountains. We had apertifs (a sort of afternoon snack with drinks and/or an appetiser), then drove back to the Moore's home for dinner. It was definitely a day of rest.
Monday, October 9:
Today, Jenn and I wandered around Marseille. We saw some food markets, which had all sorts of fresh fruit and vegetables and raw meat. Le Chateau d'If (remember 'The Count of Monte Cristo') was closed, but we saw it across the water.
We did see le Notre Dame de la Garde, which is a church sitting on top of a rather prominent hill (you can see if from just about anywhere in town). Did I mention it was on a really tall hill? I'm glad there was a bus that went to le Notre Dame. The church used to be a fortress at one time, which is evident when you consider the fortifications (steep, thick walls) surrounding the church and the drawbridge in front.
We went to the Jardin Pharo to watch the sun set over the water, then headed back to the Moore's for another hot home-cooked meal.
Tuesday, October 10:
Today, Patty loaded us up with some maps and we headed off for the calanques (cu-lonks'), which are inlets of water created by mountains on either side and the Mediterrean in the middle. The mountains are made of which rocks, and the water is blue and turquoise. We ended up hiking around 12 miles or so, and unfortunately our map didn't match up too well to the trails we saw, so we ended up just figuring it out as we went (hence the long hike). Some of these trails I had trouble walking, due to how rocky and steep the trails were, but somehow students from the local university were running around on these trails. At one point, we found a calanque, and we started to work our way down to it. We ended up sliding down a good part of a rather steep side of the mountiain, to find ourselves at the top of a hundred some-odd foot cliff. That wasn't very good, so we ended up having to hike back up the sliding part of the mountian.
Thankfully, God took care of us, because he showed us a group of 30-40 hikers coming up a trail from the town we wanted to go to, so we just slowly worked our way over to them and took their trail back down. Without those hikers, there's no way we would have found that trail - thanks, God!
We eventually found a place to go swimming in the semi-cold mediterrean (it is October, after all, so we should expect some amount of cold). It was a long hike back, because we couldn't find the beginning of the short trail.
For dinner that night, Keith and Patty took us to a wonderfull little restaurant right on the water in Marseille. It was right inside of a pretty bridge, so we had the bridge and the water to look at as we dined. That night was a wonderful night of sleep...
Wednesday, October 11:
Today, Patty took us to Aix. She drove use there and showed us around all sorts of fun shops. Jenn has developed a fetish for fountains, and Aix is full of them. So we made a point to find all of the fountains possible while in Aix. It was a beautiful day, and it was a nice way to relax in a small town after hiking all day yesterday.
This night, we met up with a friend of Jenn from college. We had apertifs with them, and found out that they had actually been at the same church as us on Sunday. Somehow we missed them, which is surprising considering that only about 50 people were at the church.
We had a great time with Keith and Patty in Marseille, but this was our last day of our stay with them.