Whilst I had some prior ideas about what we might see in Rome, Naples and Florence, my knowledge of Cannes had been sketchy and all I knew about Marseille was what I’d heard in the kind of negative news reports which I suppose any large city can attract. Perhaps not surprising then that I was pleasantly surprised by what we found.
The city has a new, modern port so that the old port is free to house yachts. For the most part not the huge, gleaming status symbols we’d seen the day before in Cannes, but proper yachts with rigging, masts and sails.
Like Liverpool, Marseille has two cathedrals and the view across the port is dominated by the one which bestrides the hill-top opposite…
Notre-Dame de la Garde.
We decided to visit it and took a tourist road-train up the hill.
The cathedral was fascinating, well worth a look, and the view across the city was also spectacular.
As we queued to catch the road-train back down the hill, I was targeted by a pickpocket. Astonishingly, he managed to unzip my money-belt without attracting my attention, but I did think that his behaviour was a bit odd and realised what he was about before he managed to take anything.
For fans of swashbuckling literature, this is the marvellously named Château d’If…
…where Dumas had his protagonist the Count of Monte Cristo imprisoned.
I was hugely impressed with what we saw of Marseille and, once again, felt like we’d hardly scratched the surface. We didn’t look inside Marseille’s other Cathedral…
Or visit any of the many art galleries or museums, with which Marseille seems to be unusually richly supplied.