This post is a two-in-one because the last leg of the trip was a much less energetic affair. My Mum will kill me for this, but there’s nothing like hitting six European cities in a row to make you sick of Les Beaux Arts. (And Basilicas. And Botanical Gardens.)
By the time I reached Lyon, I was dodging the art museums. By the time I reached Montpellier, I gave them one more go (results presented below, without comment) and by Marseilles, I had given up again.
I mean, I was down south, the sun was out, seafood was on the menu… basically, Montpellier and Marseilles were just about the food, the weather, the wanders, and the moules frites.
Montpellier, first. A large town / small city (about a quarter million) which is, architecturally, 87% small restaurants, and, demographically, 87% students, retirees and – strangely – doctors.
(There’s a large medical school nearby. Also, doctors just love the good life).
I didn’t manage to get the best pics of the incredibly cool, winding allies of the centre ville, decked out with lights, little tables, and bustling with cosy summer evening vibes. This was mainly because I feel awkward taking pictures of hoards of students, retirees and doctors I don’t know, with forks of marinated cuttlefish half way to their mouths, especially after they’d had a hard days of radiography or triple bypass surgery or whatever, so I tried to get some snaps of the less-populated streets.
Also, here’s a lovely chateau! I shamed my countrymen by turning down the wine tasting (three years sober in a fortnight) but enjoyed the sweaty, sunny wander around the grounds.
And then there was Marseille.
Marseille. Is. Cool.
Don’t be offended.
You’re cool, too.
We all just need to make peace with the fact that Marseille is a little bit cooler than we are.
Also, sunny. It’s very sunny. Three 22° days did wonders for the existential crisis I was having by the end of the voyage.
Here’s the famous Notre Dame de la Garde, and the views from it.
Here’s what I did on Sunday…
Here’s what I did on Monday…
And here’s what I did on Tuesday…
(A reminder, friends, that these pictures were take in mid-October.)
And then, it was time to head back to rainy old Dublin. And not a moment too soon.
I sorely missed… high quality conversation. Je prends café au lait, si vous plait doesn’t cut it. I suppose it’s my own fault for not speaking fluent French.* Then again, with so much to eat, why say anything at all?
Next stop? HOME
*Definitely also the fault of the locals. What’s the French for Hard. Work?