5 Places to eat in Marseille

In August last year, I spent a week in the south of France based at the Marseille Vieux Port.  The large port is the oldest in France and there are hundreds of places to eat.  This can make it a hard place to choose somewhere good and we made a few mistakes.  Along the port many restaurants look the same and you can’t always go by the fact that if restaurant is full of people that the service will be good or your meal will be great.  Here are my 5 best options for food in Marseille Vieux Port. Scroll down to the bottom to see Continue reading “5 Places to eat in Marseille”

My 2017 Review

We all start the year off with great intentions and as the year comes to an end we look back on all that we have or haven’t achieved….

Well I have completed much of what I had set out to do, and some things are still a work in progress. So here is how I did!

Overall grade: C+

5 Achievable New Years Resolutions

This year I wanted to have some plans that could be achieved, here were my 5 resolutions!

1) This year I really wanted to push out the boundaries and go to places I’ve never been before my first trip will be to Mauritius a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean. I have also planned a 3 day stop over in the Dubai in the Middle East (making in my trip two holidays in one).

Results: So I loved Mauritius and would definitely like to go back and see more of Island. The people are friendly the weather is great and there is so much to do that I definitely want to go back. 3 Days in Dubai was the shortest amount of time I have spent there is was great to see a few friends but if I’m honest I will we had another day there, time went to quickly.

My second trip that I hadn’t planned by the new year was somewhere in Europe I had never been.

Results: Marseille, France. It was booked last-minute [The week before]. The weather was wonderful it was a little more expensive than I thought it would be but the exchange rate has really hurt the pound this year. I would go back but there is so much more of the south of France I would still like to see.

My third trip to Iceland.

Results: It didn’t happen 😦 but I have it planned for 2018 🙂

Grade: B+

2) My second resolution was to try new things like scuba-diving, indoor skydiving, zip lining and a water submersible / mini submarine.

Results: It didn’t happen, I had to get permission to scuba dive from my doctor, so that has slowed things down.  Now I have got the go ahead so I will definitely be planning this for 2018 and the indoor skydiving is planned for February.

Grade: Failed

3) My third resolution is to be healthy this is something that always try to do but fail at miserably. This year I aimed to eat better and keep fit consistently and stay as well if possible. This will be my hardest challenge but I thought it was achievable.

Results: I started personal training once a week at the beginning of the year.  I have definitely not achieved my goals, but I am fitter than I was and it is still a work in progress. My eating has been inconsistent, I eat better but I also fall of and eat junk too.

Grade: C

4) My fourth resolution is to be happy, doesn’t everybody wanna be happy? Not sure how this one will go but I plan to start and finish every day happy.

Results: I’m happy 🙂 but there are days when I am not.

Grade: B-

5) My fifth resolution for the year is to eat beautiful food and try new cuisines that I’ve never had before.

Results: I have tried Mauritian food and Grenadian food, not that adventurous, I must try harder.

Grade: C

Overall Grade

2017 grade C+

5 Must Do Things in Marseille

I recently spent a wonderful week in Marseille, France.  Marseille is France’s second city and is located on the coast in the south of France.  I stayed in central Marseille at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Port de Vieux.

There are lots of things to do in Marseille, I wanted this trip to be a mix of relaxing by the pool mixed with some sightseeing.  Here is my list of 5 must do things to do when out and about.

1) Go to Notre-Dame de la Garde

Notre-Dame de la Garde translates ‘Our Lady of the Guard’ is a catholic basilica and is the best know symbol in the city.  Built on the foundations on an ancient fort at the highest point on Marseille in 1864. The basilica replaced the church of the same name that was built-in 1214. The basilica has a bell tower that supports a statue of the Madonna and Child that is covered in gold leaf. There are great views of the city and well worth a visit.

Cost: Entry is free, but take circuit 1 of the mini train from the old Port of Marseille for a fun trip the mini train costs €8 for adults & €4 for children return. Trains leave every 10 minutes throughout the day.

2) Take the world’s shortest ferry

Walking from one side of the port to the other can take some time about 20 minutes, so if you’re feeling tired or in a hurry you can take a short cut. The little ferry-boat runs from Marseilles town hall to the other side running daily every 10 minutes.  The Little Ferry boat is eco-friendly with an electric solar propeller.  The ride across the port takes a couple of minutes making is the world shortest ferry trip.

Cost: 50 cents one way.

3) Boat trips

There are numerous boat trips that you can take from the port in Marseille you can take a trip to the National park de Calanques (Calanques translates to creeks). There are several different trips to the national park de Calanques. The National Park has many Calanaques which are really beautiful calm tranquil places with beautiful rock formations and there are a number of different options of daily boat trips.

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Cost: There is a small circuit which is two hours and 15 minutes and costs approximately €23 four adults and €18 for children or you can get family tickets for €74. The large circuit is three hours and 15 minutes and is €29 for adults and €22 for children and €92 for the family ticket.

There is also a trip on the larger circuit three hours and 45 minutes which includes 30 minutes swimming time only take this option if you’re strong swimmer as life jackets are not provided.

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There are also trips throughout the day to the Frioul archipelago is a group of 4 islands located off the Mediterranean coast of France, approximately at 4 kilometres from Marseille.

4) Watch the sunset

The sunsets in Marseille are beautiful. You can watch from a high view-point or while at dinner in the ports.  Don’t forget to take a photo or two.

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Cost: Free of charge or the cost of an alfresco dinner

5) Alfresco Dining

Have dinner at one of the many restaurants at the Marseille Vieux Port.  Spend time people watching or watching sports or live music.

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There are hundreds of restaurants in Marseille, check out our next post (coming soon) about the best places to try.

Have you been to Marseille? I so, what were your favourite places? Leave a comment below.

Travelling in Europe

We have just spent the last week in Marseille, France and what I noticed is that while the police presence wasn’t that high like it is in central London we often heard and saw police cars with sirens on throughout the day. However what was noticeable was the army patrols with SA18 assault rifles at the train station, Norte Dame de la Guard and in the main square.

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We were based at Marseille’s Vieux Port the main port in Marseille with over 1,000 boats moored and any one time. This is a central point with thousands of tourists. The roads and squares are lined with metal bollards which in some places have been reinforced with concrete ones.

 

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We commented at the beginning of our week that the bollards are probably there to stop the drivers crashing in to people as almost every car had dents and scratches and drivers did not adhear to “normal” driving policy, go through red lights, parking in the bus lane with hazards on, I could go on….. but we knew the bollards were probably in place following last years attack in Nice.

On the whole we felt safe because of the bollards and the high army presence, it’s just sad that it has to be this way.

So my advice is just keep your wits about you and stay as safe as you can. But don’t let it stop you from booking a holiday in Europe.