My train to the south of France was departing from Gare de Lyon while those in the group headed to London and Amsterdam would be going north and leaving from Gare de Nord. My sister/friend, Toni Hill of Los Angeles and Team mate, Dedie B would be joining me on this adventure. The first time I visited was in 1991 coming back from visiting friends in Portofino on the Italian Riviera returning to Paris. Growing up I had heard my dad repeatedly say he was an MP in the Army and in Marseille he directed traffic at the intersection of La Canebiere and rue de Rhone. I was determined then to take a picture and take it back to him in Oakland. Of course, he was blown away and could not get over the fact that I remembered that small detail from my childhood.
The second experience here if you remember was back in September when our cruise ship docked for the day. 15 of us participated in the launch of the Black Marseille Tour. It was most delightful and quite enlightening and left me literally hungering to return. Our 3 hour ride on the fast speed TGV was smooth and enjoyable. The check in at our hotel, La Residence de Vieux Port was 3pm so we decided to go to the restaurant I had been dreaming about since September: TOINOU, specializing in seafood since 1956. I ordered the Grande Planche, a huge cooked platter for 2 filled with, mussels, clams, razor clams, crab legs, prawns, and shrimp resting on this buttery parsley and garlic sauce. Dedie B had mussels gratinee, crab soup and then the chorizo and mussels. Toni had a platter of chilled jumbo prawns and shrimp. Yes, we were 3 very stuffed and happy travelers.
All over town there were Marche’s (outdoor markets) and we browsed and stopped at several. We had already determined that at some point we would ride La Roue (the wheel) Ferris wheel to us. As we made our way back to our hotel , I spotted the carousel, purchased 3 tickets and we all hopped on. Oh what fun and a wonderful feeling to be young-at-heart.
We didn’t leave the hotel for dinner until 10pm as most eat late in Europe anyway but we were too late for the restaurant with the Bouillabaisse of which I had my heart set on. But our plan B. worked out just fine. We all enjoyed Le Petit Pernod.
This Sunday morning I gave God thanks as I opened my eyes with a very clear view of Notre Dame La Garde as she sits high atop Marseille overlooking this fair city. Today is a brand new day.; One we have never seen before nor will we ever see again. Today, before we head back to Paris, we just may take a drive along the Corniche to the picturesque 8th district of Marseille. It’s been a very relaxing time here in Marseille.