Marseille

Holidays =travelling = good.

Marseille seems like a pretty nice place, the architecture is really pretty here. Most of the streets in the centre of town are lined with tall buildings with shuttered windows and over the top iron railings. It’s all very French, and a bit Italian at the same time.

Yesterday we went to Monaco, which has to be seen to be believed. It really is tiny, but is totally jam packed with tall 70s apartment blocks, clustered around a few ports equally crammed with expensive private yachts. The shopping streets had citrus fruit trees, which seemed pretty strange to me. They also had public lifts and escalators all over the place. The shops themselves were interesting too, all selling mostly highly decorative things, most of which were useless. We did come across a shop selling lots of very unusual and decorative kitchen stuff, which was all very colourful and expensive. There’s a similar shop in York called Octopus, as far as I can remember.

Monaco is very difficult to navigate, despite the size. Firstly because of the different levels and secondly because of the amount of space. Pedestrians aren’t really that welcome. When you leave the station you are left wondering how to get onto the path. And while I’m thinking about leaving the station…the first thing we saw was an incredibly polished ice cream shop. The place was beautiful, selling ice cream and frozen yogurt in transparent plastic cones, topped with fruit. Irresistable. So we didn’t.

I had a great time walking around the grand prix circuit and getting enthusiastic about red and white kerbstones, and I was alone in this. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun to see those famous places, to walk round THAT hairpin and walk through THAT tunnel.

In Marseille so far I’ve seen the old port, the Quick (which isn’t half bad) and the Palais du Pharo, which offers a lovely view of the town. Also visited the touristy sweet shop – again beautiful – and a nice market by the port. I have also spent a while negotiating the public transport system. On my first day, I bought a transport ticket, which didn’t work. So, we went to the office – on Monday as it was shut before that – to get a refund. This involved filling out a form, when we eventually convinced the person working there that we deserved a refund. This is pretty amazing for just a refund for ten Euros. Also spent an hour in a queue trying to buy a train ticket. Monaco was worth seeing when we eventually got there, though!

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