Like in Palma, we had to take a bus transfer from the cruise terminal to the Vieux Port. This was the only port where we were not allowed to walk out into the city on our own. You either had to have a private tour arranged or you had to take the bus out of the port. Luckily, the tickets were only 5 Euro a person.
After a fifteen minute drive, our bus driver dropped us off on the northern side of Vieux Port. Vieux Port is the main harbor area in Marseille. It contains a local market next to the water and then restaurants can be found sprinkled on the other side of the street.
We walked along the entire edge of the port to soak in the sights and sounds, including those massive fish.
From there, we decided to start the 30 minute climb (and I do mean climb) to the Notre Dame de la Garde. I stupidly thought that this would be a fun hike. Not so much. It was windy and freezing and seriously straight up hill.
Don’t be like us. Pay the 5 Euro for the tram up to Notre Dame.
one thing that almost made me die cool thing about our trek was the climb up a huge set of stairs to the Notre Dame.
From here, we had a amazing overview of the entire port.
After a lot of climbing, we finally made it to the observation deck of Notre Dame.
Since the cathedral sits on a 500 foot limestone peak, you can see the entire city of Marseille.
And just to demonstrate how windy it was look at Mr. A’s popped collar. Trust me, he would never do that intentionally.
The observation deck also held this beautiful sculpture of the Passion of Christ.
We also took a few pictures of the cathedral from this vantage point.
While a cathedral has been here since the 13th century, the current building was constructed in 1853.
One of the unique features of the cathedral is its bell tower covered in contrasting bands of white and green limestone topped with a gold gilded statue of the Virgin Mary and child.
We then moved inside and walked up a flight of stairs to see the church.
This turned out to be one of the smallest cathedrals we visited but it was still beautiful. The large arches are covered in bands of red and white Carrara marble. The nave is covered completely in delicate mosaics.
The mosaics on the walls and ceilings cover about 3,900 feet and took six years to finish.
Above is a mosaic representing the L’Annunciation of Marie. On the right you see Gabriel who has come down to tell the Virgin Mary that she will conceive Jesus.
Above you will see an up close shot of the nave.
Inside the cupolas were beautiful golden mosaics.
After taking the sanctuary in for a while, we headed back downstairs to the cathedral’s crypt.
The crypt has six side chapels devoted to various people who have answered the call to Christ, holy Philomene, Saint Andre, holy Rose, Saint Henri, holy Louis and Saint Benoit Labre.
After we finished with the crypt, we headed out of the cathedral and back down the hill toward the center of Marseilles.
We wandered in and out of streets, looking at the shops and restaurants.
Eventually, we made it over to the old city center to see Town Hall.
We also checked out the Chamber of Commerce.
Then found this amazingly unique statue in the middle of the street.
After exploring the inner city, we decided to head back to Vieux Port to check out Fort Saint Jean.
Fort Saint Jean sits on the northern entrance to the main harbor in Marseilles.
The original fort was constructed in 1660 but much of it was destroyed during World War II by the Nazis.
Eventually, the damaged portions were reconstructed in the 1960s.
From Fort Saint Jean, we could see Fort Saint Nicholas sitting on the southern entrance to the harbor.
After exploring the harbor, we headed to a French bakery to get some fresh croissants. They might have been the highlight of my day (verification that I do, in fact, have a sweets problem).
Once we finished our indulgence, we headed back to the harbor to catch our bus back to the ship.
And that my friends is the anticlimactic end to our beautiful honeymoon. Hope you’ve enjoyed the recaps. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I’ll recap my top five tips for a great European cruise.
What You’ve Missed: