Thursday, September 19, 2013

Marseille (Part 2)

I've been back in HK for a while now but just hasn't gotten around to publishing these posts. I actually wrote them on the train ride from Marseille back to Paris.


After getting dehydrated on Sunday, I went back to the hotel and rested. Took the chance to Skype with Yalu and waited until the weather was cooler before heading back out. I took the tram to the Longchamp Palace. I think they were getting ready to close so I didn't see all of it. There was a choir there singing though and that was really nice. I headed back out to the port for dinner and decided I really wanted a burger. 

On Monday, I wanted to take a cruise out to see the calanques, which are these cliffs that are supposed to be really beautiful. But unfortunately, it was really windy that day and the lady at the sales desk warned me that I might get sick. I guess I could have taken the bus out to the university and hike there but I was kind of lazy in investigating this route. By the time I realized that this was feasible, it was much later in the day. After a lunch of a falafel wrap, I went to the Fort Jean. I found the fort to be very well kept. It was almost museum like with signs and explanations. The place was very clean and had really nice views of the harbor. There were a lot of passage ways and towers to explore. I just wish it wasn't so windy! I felt my bag being blown and it would have flown away if I hadn't held onto it. My bag even had bottles of water in it. 

The fort connected to the Museum of the Mediterranean by a pedestrian bridge. You end up at the rooftop terrace of the museum which had nice lounge chairs. The museum is a very nice structure. I think it's meant to be a history and culture museum but it had the looks of an art museum. The building is a box structure that has an outer walkway wrapped around it. You can get to all the floors from this walkway. The walkway is covered by the facade of the building which hangs from the main building. This outer facade is porous and lets in sunlight and wind. On top of the walkway, they've installed speakers that softly plays sounds of the Mediterranean, like the sea, people at markets, etc. So it's a really nice walk. I had a cappuccino at the ground floor and just chilled there for a while. Really wish they were more into coffee than espresso. 

I went back to rest after this and decided to check out the beach in the afternoon. I only made it to the closest beach and that was a really dirty beach. I just dipped my feet in and the water was very cool. On the way back I finally found the bus that goes to the farther beaches and it was packed with people going back to the city. I supposed that's where I should've gone. But instead I walked around another nice park.

I had waffles and ice cream for dinner. I had this ice cream in Paris, in the Galleries Lafeyette, while waiting for my friends to finish shopping. The one I had there seemed to be a lot bigger than the ones people were getting here. They let you pick 3 flavors and shape it into a flower. Maybe it was because it was less busy at the one in Paris. I thought the two scoops I got here were small too. 

I went back to the hotel before sunset this time and spent the rest of the evening skyping briefly with another friend and then reading the rest of A Thousand Splendid Suns. It's a very moving book, especially at the end where everything collided. It made me realize I know nothing about the Middle East. Some of those Afghan restaurants that I ate at back in the States must be run by people escaping the conflicts described in this book. I got the book from the Salvation Army in HK and ended up giving the book away to a lady sitting on the bench next to me at the train station. I saw that she had a bunch of magazines, some of which are in English. I think she said that she can read English. 

I think I could have done something this morning, like go see one more sight or something. But I feel very lazy these days and just spent the time packing. I've been eyeing this buffet restaurant that has a huge selection of cheeses. In Paris, because there were always at least 3 of us and we always shared our meals, every meal felt like a buffet in that we got to try out so many different things. This buffet had a pretty good selection of meats and seafood. Their food was ok, wasn't all that great. But it was fun trying out different things and eating a lot of cheese! 

Anyway, on the train to the airport now. Only have €5+ in cash. Doubt I will need anything though. Maybe a snack. I got a thing of couscous and a bottle of Vitamin water. I've been drinking all kinds of flavored waters and trying different drinks out. 

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