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Marseilles and (Paris Lights) - Dec 2013

Marseilles and (Paris Lights) - Dec 2013

Old Jan 1, 14, 5:51 pm
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Marseilles and (Paris Lights) - Dec 2013

We arrived at the Gare de Lyon for our trip to Marseilles, picked up some food and proceeded to Hall 2 for our train. Since it did not show up on the monitor listing, an inquiry from the Information desk revealed that due to a partial strike, our train had been cancelled and the next one that we could take without the benefit of the reserved seats (that we had on the original booking) would be 3 hours away. However a second inquiry from the reservations folks put us back on the track as there was a train to Nice about the same time that we had originally planned to leave and it would stop at Marseilles. We got into this train to Nice, looked for empty seats and found a couple in the same row. The train ride was pretty uneventful and some 4 hours later we arrived at Marseilles. IHG has two properties in town - a Holiday Inn Express, which is a bare bones hotel conveniently located across from the train station side exit and an Intercontinental Hotel which is close to the old port and approachable from the train station via a taxi (or the metro/bus).

The train station (front entrance) sits 101 steps above the street level


Looking down from the train station


Highest point in the city - Notre-Dame de la Garde


Mediterranean Ocean from the Notre-Dame


The Old Port Vieux Port from the Notre-Dame


The sprawling city view from Notre-Dame


Old Port, the water front bends at the far end and connects to the Mediterranean


A city bus (#68) from the Old Port takes you to the Notre-Dame de la Garde, but that too had been cancelled due to some partial bus strike on the day that we wanted to go up there. So, we ended up taking a taxi and walked back down to the town. A block from the South side of the old port (down from the Notre Dame), there were quite a few good restaurants. Bouillabaisse, the local favorite/speciality did not impress me much.

The downtown area has been taken over by the North African ( mainly Algerian) immigrants and the West facing Southern coastline constitutes the suburbs. The beaches are accessible by bus or during summers, by a ferry (botabus) from the Old Port. Boats run once an hour, the journey time is around 40 minutes and the boat ticket holders can use their tickets to transfer, free, on to a bus when they arrive at Pointe Rouge or the Old Port. The beaches, by and large are pebbly.

Marseilles has the reputation of being a high crime town with lot of pickpockets and gangs, but they rest up during the lean winter months. So, we did not run into any unpleasant situations.

The Old Port Vieux Port is a nice area to walk around. It is used for small private boats and the ferry shuttle service, with the nearby new harbor being used for ships. Due to itinerary constraints we spent only two days there before returning to Paris.

Last edited by Slow_Mustang; Jan 1, 14 at 6:02 pm
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Old Jan 4, 14, 12:58 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Back in Paris.....

Xmas market along Champs Elysses with Arc in the distance


A building on Champs, all lit up for the holidays


A corner on Champs


Delicious Parisian desserts - macaroon cake


Dosa - crepe made with rice/lentil flour and stuffed with a spicy potato mix - in the Little India section of Paris


Yup, it is still there

-

Last edited by Slow_Mustang; Jan 4, 14 at 1:45 pm
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Old Jan 4, 14, 1:23 pm
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Some pictures imported into the forum seem to have formatting problems because of the forum software upgrade.

Last edited by Slow_Mustang; Feb 17, 14 at 11:14 am
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