But then two things happened:
1. I got off the train while my Ray-bans were still waiting for me to put them in my backpack. Lonely, they sat in my seat, as they were whisked away by the train that had yet to finish its journey to Lyon. I hope someone nice adopted them.
2. We transferred to a train that made my elementary school bus look posh. First of all, the seats and car numbers made no sense. When we couldn’t figure it out from outside the train, we got on and attempted to work it out. As we dragged our luggage from car to car; the rails visible under our feet between them, the old train bobbed, and lurched, and vibrated. We did eventually find our seats at a window offering panoramic views of graffiti.
Seeing this was a losing battle, I took Dramamine and a nap.
When I woke up, we were in beautiful Marseille. We disembarked and followed the directions of our new Airbnb host: find the cross streets, look for “Andre’s Shoes,” find the blue door, push the button labeled “EasyFrench,” and wait. Eventually Yaz came down to greet us and walk us up to his 5th floor apartment. While the space was small, it had everything we needed and more. In the kitchen double doors opened up to a narrow balcony. As soon as we stepped up and through the threshold we knew we picked the right place. This view from the top was truly incredible. There’s something to be said about greeting a new city from above. It helps me get my bearings and also makes me anxious to get down into the hustle and bustle of life happening below.
The city of Marseille gets mixed reviews with some still arguing it’s dangerous and crime-ridden. That may be true in some areas. It is a little rough around the edges but it’s a gorgeous city and absolutely worth exploring. As we went out in search of dinner, we came across a giant ferris wheel, which of course Jared asked me to ride. I said “no.” This thing was huge and scary. However, two beers later, I said yes — though I still wasn’t sure I meant it. The closer we got, the bigger it looked and the more I was sure it was a bad idea.
But tokens were purchased before I could change my mind and we stepped inside the bowl of metal that was sure to be the end of me. As we began to move upward, I realized, I was wrong – this was amazing. The open-air carriage spins 360 degrees making the view worth every euro we spent on it. From the top you could see not only the sea and the mass of boats, but also the expansive city as it runs into the Provençal hills.
After the ferris wheel placed us safely back on the ground, we wandered through the market near our apartment. We managed to resist the pull of the tomatoes but the bakery nearby was simply too strong.
We shared an eclair as we walked back home and watched what was left of the sunset from our balcony.