La vie est belle in Marseille

Life is beautiful I found myself thinking during my stay in the gorgeous Marseille. Initially when you arrive you see quite an busy ugly industrial city and think oh. But head out from the centre by at least five kilometres and you start to see the relaxed gorgeous beachy side of Marseille and suddenly feel quite happy with your choice to travel here.

I only stayed in Marseille for two nights but found myself wishing I had planned for more as two days was not enough. Although I admit during my short stay, I didn’t actually go and see any of the usual local tourist attractions at all.

Instead I arrived with the intention of unwinding and enjoying myself. The hostel was much nicer this time with actual seats on the toilets and controlled spray in the showers. Big bonuses compared to the last hostel. I ambled the 300 metres to the beach and looked around. There was even a Ferris Wheel which was a neat touch.

From the top: a couple sitting on the rocks, part of the bay, the merry go round, and the Ferris wheel.
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The next day I lazed around the hostel after a decent sleep-in enjoying the fast wifi. Luxury. Then it was time to go sea kayaking. This was an activity set up by the hostel. The French guide spoke just about no English and took a small group of us further along the Marseille coastline in a rusty beat-up old van towing a trailer full of kayaks. Arriving at a tiny beach set in a stunningly beautiful bay, we got ready to go.

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The water was blue and exquisitely calm, the sun shone without a cloud in the sky. For the next few hours we paddled along the coast and around a couple of rocky islands. Coming around each corner presented a view that was more magnificent and perfect than the last section. You would think it couldn’t possibly get any more breathtaking until you rounded the next corner and it suddenly did.

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La vie est belle (Life is beautiful).

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We stopped for a quick picnic and swim in a small hidden beach.

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Then the kayaking came to an end and it was time to head back to the rusty van and pack everything up. My arms ached and my shoes and clothing were soaked, but it had been the most wonderful day.

I could have then rushed off to see some local attractions like the Cathedral that evening, but I just wanted to relax and enjoy being on holiday. I think that’s why I loved Marseille so much as it’s the first place I’ve focused purely on just luxuriating and not been a typical tourist. I watched the sunset that evening. I sat on the beach and practised my photography skills, with a little bit of people watching and eating biscotti with a fresh roll.

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The next day rolled around too fast of course bringing an end to my Marseille time. I checked out and headed back into the train station.

Next stop – Nice.

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