Sunday May 26, 2019
As predicted, the weather is not great when we wake up. We have a nice breakfast, courtesy of Christophe. Carol is happy as he makes her two cups of coffee. The breakfast is simple with yogurt, croissant, jam, some fruit, and bread. Orange juice is also served. We chat for a while and then are a bit slow in getting out. It is not raining when we leave around 1030, but is supposed to later. We are walking the 1.5 miles to the Notre Dame de la Garde Cathedral and the last half is all uphill. I was going to hop into my electric car but Carol wants the exercise.
We have to walk by the harbor first and the fish mongers are out selling their catch. We pass stands with eels, a mean looking ( I think angler) fish with sharp teeth, tuna, shark, cuttlefish, squid, a cool orange fish, and many other species of all shapes and sizes.
As we turn onto a street away from the harbor, our climb begins. It is a fairly steep grade and we have to pause once in a while and question our sanity. The street ends and now we have stairs to climb. Then we have the final push to the top as we get a great view of the cathedral and can see the city below us.
When we reach the base of the cathedral, we can see Chateau D’If a prison that was used and is kind of like alacatraz, sitting on a small island. As it is threatening rain, we walk around the exterior of the cathedral first.
There are bullet and shrapnel holes in the walls from a ten day battle for the liberation of Marseille in August of 1944. As we walk around, we get a 360 degree view of Marseille and the surrounding area including Fort St Jean where we were yesterday. Due to the haze and clouds, we can not see the mountains which lie in the distance. We head into the cathedral and are immediately amazed at the beautiful mosaics covering the nave, ceiling, and dome.
There are ships hanging from the ceiling as the cathedral protected the sailors who went to sea. There are also arches of red and white stone that is very reminiscent of the Mezquita, we saw in Córdoba. It is a very nice Cathedral and as they close it off for Mass, we decide to attend the service and stay out of the rain at the same time. Forty five minutes later, having sung in poor French, and shared a handshake of peace with the people around us, the Mass ends.
We check out the crypt before heading out into the rain for our wet walk back. We just hang out in our room for the rest of the afternoon and then take a stroll before going to dinner where we have reservations at Côte Rue.
Rated very good, this restaurant unfortunately, did not live up to the reviews. Supposedly known for their fish, we had fried sardines as an appetizer, a white fish with a large prawn for our meal and chocolate cake and cheesecake for dessert. Although it was alright, nothing stood out as particularly memorable in the taste department.
I thought the fish was a little tough and the desserts were not great at all. All in all for the money, it is the first disappointing meal we have had in France. After dinner, we just head back for the evening. We made the best of a not so fair weather day. The Calanques National Park, which is what we had looked forward to for today, will just have to wait.
Marseille City Room 60.66E
Dinner at restaurant Côte Rue 65E
Walked 5 Miles