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.
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.
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….
….and then along the east side of the port…
…..which was well stocked with boats of all sizes and sorts.
I passed buildings old…
…and constructions new.
My objective was the Palace du Pharo, a fine house built on a hill at the mouth of the harbour.
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.
On my way back to the hotel, my eye was caught but this giant inverted mirror at the top of the port.
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.
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.