Today begins a special weekend for me: I hardly ever go back to my hometown, so I always feel a bit as a special moment when I have the opportunity to come back visit my family.
The journey is starting this morning: first step: packing! I normally pack very lightly, especially when I stay less than a week. But today I had to take more than usual as the weather in Marseille (our final destination) is a bit changing: sh*t. I am realising – as I am writing this post- that I forgot my swimsuit grrr…nevermind my lovely sister will lend me one 😉
So as we are checking the tube traffic ( yeah – severe delays planned!! Why does that need to happen today, seriously?!) my partner (let’s ca’ll him Mr T.) try to pack as many items as we can – to face all types of situations: sunglasses: ok, English teas and cookies for my family: ok, running shoes: ok, books to keep me entertained on the plane: ok…and so on. Yeah, after 20 minutes of frantic packing running in the flat, we’re finally done!
Oh I forgot one more thing: leave my worries at home – I have to confess I’m a nervous flyer, which is stupid…but I try to overcome my fear as I don’t want my stupid thoughts to stop me from great experiences…I’m travelling to Beijing next month – good way to forget definitely my anxiety, no?
Finally arrived at our tube station: great news: the delays are not as severe as expected so we should be able to arrive on time… Yippee! Why am I always anxious about time? Hopefully Mr T is a super Zen partner who always sees the glass half plenty.
Finally at the airport: I already feel a bit nervous as the boarding is coming closer. Some small issues at the security check as I forgot to take my kindle out of my bag – stupid me! After 15 minutes I can get my stuff back, as the guy in front of us had similar issue (too many devices in a backpack)
Hopefully we arrived in advance! Now we have plenty of time to browse some nice shops: Mr T bought nice hiking shoes for our summer holiday to Iceland. I like the selection of this timberland shop so much! Great hats, pants, shirts…all in lovely colours. But I had already lots of expenses recently, so I have to resist the urge of buying.
Now it is already time for lunch: we choose to go to Giraffe as we quite like their selection. I go for the sushi salad with a smoothie and Mr T for a tuna sandwich with a cranberry juice (coz he loves cranberry juice so much!)
I’m a bit in a hurry as I want to arrive early at the gate to take a seat before boarding. Just some time to buy a few things from boots. I love their travel miniatures so much!
Finally on board: I took care of booking a window seat for my sweetheart. Oh oh I feel a bit nervous…and here we go!! Bye bye London! After a few minutes I start to relax and feel some familiar sensations. Oh, I can see we’re crossing the English channel…and here’s the Normandy coast. We have one more hour of flight…let’s read a bit. I can foresee the landing is going to stress me a bit, but I try to ignore this.
Yeah the pilot announced we’re landing soon yippee!! Wow the weather looks lovely in there…I can see the harbour, the islands, the hills…feels good to see this landscape again!
Arrived at the airport, picked our luggage and my Dad is waiting for us to drive us home, which takes 45 minutes. The weather is so warm, it makes the drive really enjoyable, although I feel a bit tired. But I’m proud of myself: I kept cool and distracted, so my flight was quite enjoyable at the end.
Back at home: I unpacked the gifts for my parents. I have the pleasure to meet my niece who is born three months ago. I try to feed her with the bottle, but it takes a while…later my sister joins us to pick her daughter: its also time for her to discover the gifts I have for her children: two dresses and a mifi fluffy toy for my niece, a shirt and a colour book (also a mifi one) for my nephew.
Before having dinner, my mum joins us for a walk in the countryside as the weather is still warm: at the end we walked for one hour, as we passed several farms, said hello to the donkeys and enjoyed the sunset.
After some dinner (delicious home made lasagna and a beautiful apricot tart), I try to schedule the program for tomorrow: we decide to go to Marseille by train as my parents expect a delivery for new kitchen appliances. So it will be day just the two of us! I try to figure out where we can eat a typical fish soup (bouillabaisse) … Looks hard to choose something not overpriced.
After we agree on the train, I decide to go to bed as tomorrow will be a very active day. I am so exhausted, it feels delicious to go under the thick blancket.
I didn’t find difficulties to fall asleep, except that this bed is a bit small for us two… And my partner starts snoring…zzzzz….
7:10am: my alarm clock is ringing….actually at the same time it rings when I have to go to work 🙂 but today I don’t mind as I know this day is going to be packed with fun!
Our train is planned at 8:59am, so we just have the time for a shower, a quick breakfast (caffe latte + baguette slice with butter and jam), withdraw some cash for the day, get to the closest station which is 10km away…and here we go!!! Luckily the train only needs 50minutes to get to Marseille, and it passes by “L’Estaque” where you can admire the beautiful seeshore of this fisher village. Arrived at the train station, our first walk leads us to “La Canebiere” (the high street of the city), then to the ” Vieux Port” where the fish market is already waiting for us. Since my last trip to Marseille, things changed quite a lot as this year is the year for Marseille as the European Capital of Culture. So the pavements have been renewed, concerts and exhibtions are planned all over the year.
But on today’s agenda we have: going with a tourist train from the Vieux Port to Notre Dame de la Garde, which is the emblematic monument of Marseille you will see on any postcard. Wow this train is so full – of other tourists like us. The ride is quite slow, and the kids in our “wagon” are so noisy that we barely hear the comments broadcasted in the train. Still, the view is really enjoyable: we pass the Pharo, La Corniche (on the seafront) and then our train is struggling to drive uphill to the basilica. Wow, the panaroma is already quite impressive.
As we arrive at the cathedral, we take time to admire the view, which reminds the books of Marcel Pagnol (French writer who wrote books about his childhood memories in Provence). Some facts about the golden Madonna on top of the cathedral are quite astonishing: the statue weights 950kg, and the wrist of the child Jesus measures 1.10m!!! Really impressive. I realize that although I have been living in Marseille for 2 years, it is the very first time I take the time to go there. Better late than ever!
After our ride back to the Vieux Port (the descent in those street is a scary btw – especially as the comment mentions that “the Madonna protects you during your ascent, but not during your descent”, that was hilarious). As we are in Marseille, we decide it is the good day to try a fish soup: hmm decision, decision… We finally choose a small restaurant – which a bit like a tourist place but the menu looks quite attractive. Finally our fish soup was good and none of us have been sick, although the soup was a bit different from the original recipe. Unfortunately the white wine we drank gave us a bit kick…the afternoon walk is a bit painful.
As we’re finally heading to the Parc Longchamp, we find out that the parc is under construction….so no nice nap on the grass for us. Hopefully on the other side of the Palais Longchamp the small park is offering us some nice space for have rest.
Wow, time is flying it is already 16:00pm and the weather is not that sunny anymore…I think we have to come another time to Marseille to plan a cruise in the Calanques. We finish this day in Marseille with a nice walk back to the station – with a stop at the bookshop where I used to buy all my second hand books when I was a student – Gibert&Joseph. I love browsing all the pocket books, and all the stationery things too…but today I decided I just stick to one book.
In the train, I fall asleep two minutes after the train leaves (which is exceptional for me, as I hardly ever sleep in transports)…zzzz…it was a great day in Marseille, see you soon!!