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Backpacking France & Spain: Day 09 (14-Dec-2017)
La Ville De Mistral
I had dedicated a day to explore Marseille. After having the complimentary breakfast at the hostel, I walked up to the hill close by, where one of the most beautiful and famous basilicas of Marseille resides - Notre Dame de la Garde. As I gained height, the well arranged houses and buildings of the city formed a spectacular view below.
The basilica itself has some magnificent ceramic art work inside. I shall let the pictures speak for itself.
There were also four military men guarding the area. Security is pretty tight everywhere in France these days. I walked to the view points to get some great views of the city below. Marseille old port with two forts guarding it at each end looked splendid.
I next took a long walk to Palais de longchamps. It is a beautiful park with some impressive sculptures built at the entrance.
Just taking a walk along the street of Marseille is a pleasure in itself. Everything is so neat and artistic.
This city, being close to the Maghreb, has a lot of muslim population. The arabs here, by their appearance, seemed more rooted to their traditions and religion than the ones I had seen in Lyon. I chanced upon a nice Turkish restaurant (Firat) along my way where I had my lunch. The server was kind enough to suggest me some vegetarian options. I tried feuille de vignes (Vine leaves). It is an interesting dish made of vine leaves and rice. It resembled the Pathrodey that we cook with colocasia leaves in Mangalore. For main course, I tried falafel and flavoured rice. It was very delicious.
It is also interesting to note that there are very few Indians in this part of the country. Many, I believe stick to Paris and do not explore other regions.
I walked to the forts that guarded the city. Cathédral La Major looked impressive with the blue sky background.
I took a walk by the quai filled with restaurants one one side and boats harboured on the other. The view as you can see in the pictures were beautiful. The more time I spent here, the more I fell in love with this city.
At a small shop near the hostel, I finally found some postcards that I liked. I normally tend to look for something different, apart from the usual ones sold at every souvenir shop. A painted picture of Calanque and the lovely city of Marseille seemed like a best souvenir for my friends.
For dinner, I tried a restaurants that was famous for crêpes. It is popular for its crêpe salé (salted crepe - not the usual sweet variety but with vegetables or meat) made of wheat.
The weather was amazing. It was not very cold, So, I took a walk. Many youngsters were at the bars by the quai chatting and having a good time. The breeze from the sea felt good as I walked along the promenade. I wished that this vacation was not limited and I could spend more time perhaps painting by the port every evening. However, I that was not true and It was time to head to the next city soon.