Today was such a cool day. We slept in a little and headed to the bus station around 11 to meet up with some of our little group of Gordon students. We went to Marseilles, an old port town and now major city, which is only twenty or so minutes away. The bus dropped off at a huge train/bus station near the Vieux Port, the heart of the history and culture of the city.
So a little bit of history for those who are interested: It was first founded in 600 BC by the Greeks, calling the city Massalia. It was then taken over by the Romans who made it very prosperous. It’s easy to see all the influences of other Mediterranean cities. There’s huge cathedrals, a lovely boat dock, three islands with forts built on them, and many new modern museums.
We spent some time on the Vieux Port and ate lunch at a nearby restaurant. I got “moules frites au Roquefort” which is mussels in a creamy sauce of Roquefort cheese with a huge cup of fries. It was super delicious.
We then got tickets for a boat and went to Chateau d’If, the famed prison from Alexandre Dumas’ “Count of Monte-Cristo”. If you haven’t read it or seen the movie, I highly suggest it! The hero of the story, Edmund Dantes, was held prisoner there for 14 years. The boat captain was very nice and let us go on top for a better view. It was so cool to see the Marseilles coast with the smell of the salt water and the fierce wind.
The island itself is very small but a lot of the chateau is open to see. We got to see the cells of the richer prisoners, who if they paid a high enough price, got to have a window and a chimney. The poorer prisoners were held down in the dungeons without sunlight.
We then returned and got sorbets along the port and went home. It was just a very lovely, sunny day to visit a little bit of Marseilles. Photos to come!!