A visit to Marseille, day one

Notre-Dame de la Garde

My sisters Susan and Mary, my step mother Patricia, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went to Marseille to help celebrate my sister Mary’s eightieth birthday.

As though by a miracle, we got on a train at London and just under seven hours later, we got off it in Marseilles about 1200 km away.   By an even bigger miracle, the seats on the train were so comfortable and the company so good that the journey passed in what seemed like only a few moments, pleasantly interrupted now and again by food and drink brought to us by kindly attendants.

When we arrived, we were met by my brother who had found it more convenient to fly.

We were hoping for sunshine and a kindly temperature and we got both for all the time that we were there.

We checked into our hotel and then went out for refreshments.  The first thing that we noticed when we got to the Old Port was the basilica of Notre-Dame de la Garde which looks down on the town from its hill.

Notre-Dame de la Garde

You can’t help noticing this striking building and it will appear many times in my Marseille posts.

The light was fantastic and Marseille was gleaming in the evening sunshine.

Marseille vieux port

I was feeling the need to stretch my legs a bit so I left the others and walked round the top of the harbour with my little Lumix in my pocket….

Marseille vieux port

….and then along the east side of the port…

Marseille vieux port

…..which was well stocked with boats of all sizes and sorts.

I passed buildings old…


…and constructions new.

A castle was in the way of a road so they have tunnelled underneath it.

My objective was the Palace du Pharo, a fine house built on a hill at the mouth of the harbour.

Palace du Pharo
The objects in the foreground are an art work.

I was rewarded with a stunning view back down the old port.


I felt very happy to be alive and in France.

The views all round were good.

Looking across the old harbour entrance
Newer harbours could be seen
And further off still, a parking lot for cruise liners

On my way back to the hotel, my eye was caught but this giant inverted mirror at the top of the port.

Marseille mirror

The sight of people standing dumbstruck, staring straight up became familiar during our stay.


And by this fine building, once the home of telegraph, phone and telephone.

Telegraph building Marseille

We all met at the hotel and had a good meal at one of the many restaurants that line the old port.

It was dark by the time we walked back to the hotel.

Our visit had had a promising start.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “A visit to Marseille, day one

  1. LOL, my nephew is all about the food photos. (ref: Cally above) Glad you’re not. Good nighttime river shot, Tom. You have a steady hand.

  2. I’m getting caught up on your trip and the light is beautiful, you are taking great pictures. Our choir director left us for Paris last week, I am enjoying visiting some of France vicariously through your posts.

  3. What a terrific place to visit! That collection of sculptures at the Palace du Pharo really make me think it’s hands coming out of the ground, clapping. Very strange indeed.
    The scenery is very beautiful, the mirror above is very odd. I’ll enjoy going through your next posts!! ~SueBee

    1. I didn’t know that so it was interesting to learn. Thank you. The link to Shoko’s videos was fun. Why didn’t I think about a video? Perhaps because I am not an artist.

  4. Hi Tom,
    I’ve just been catching up on your sister’s posts about Marseilles and was struck by the beautiful light there. As I commented to her, my only knowledge of the place was from reading old novels and history books. The views are glorious! So much sunshine and clean fresh colours. I imagine it would really lift the spirits. What perfect weather for your trip and you’ve taken impressive shots. I can almost feel the warmth and fresh air. What a difference to your Scottish winters. Well, I still have many more posts to catch up on… 🙂

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