marseille, in 52 hours

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“A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi


For as many times as I’ve been to France, I’ve only been outside Paris once.

As we made our way to Corsica, we stopped for two nights in Marseille, in the south of France along the Mediterranean Sea, France’s second largest city.

We left Paris on a high speed train, the TGV, from Gare de Lyon and arrived mid-afternoon into Marseille. We spent the first half day walking around the Old Port of Marseille, Vieux-Port.

We fit in two boat tours and one hop-on/hop-off bus tour.

Our train

View of the old port


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Château d’If

William has this to say:

In Marseille we went on two boat rides. I went in the front and it was so fun because the waves would push the boat up and it felt like you were flying!

The first boat went to a small island to see a small prison [Château d’If]. My dad said it reminded him of the Alcatraz of Marseille.

From the flyer we had in English:

In 1844, Alexandre Dumas published The Count of Monte Cristo which was an instant success. In the book, the hero, Edmond Dantès, is imprisoned on the island.

The second boat went almost to Corsica (or that’s what it felt like) and then came back [it was a tour of Les Calanques, “a ruggest coastal area interspersed with small fjord-like inlets”, around the coastline of Marseille].

The next day we went to a ferry boat to Ajaccio, Corsica. Getting to the boat was an adventure!

Someone told us to walk one way, then another man told us to walk back, then a lady told us to walk all the way back (at this point my mom was super mad).

My mom went to some taxis to ask them to just drive us and all of them said “no”. Then a security guy yelled at them and then we got a ride.

Here are some pictures we took:

montmartre

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“Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings.” ~ Hodding Carter


4 shoes in front of Sacré Cœur.

Montmartre. Sacré Cœur. Rue Foyatier.

Mountain of the martyr.

For two years this place has been on my “Paris To-Do” list.

For two years I’ve wanted to see where Salvador Dalí, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh worked. Where Le Chat Noir and Moulin Rouge were.

Monday I finally made it.

After a ridiculously fabulous breakfast at Ladurée and a Metro to Anvers, we walked up towards Sacré Cœur. It stood, at the top, beckoning in its travertine splendor.

Despite the overcast weather, the view from the top was incredible.

A view of Paris ~ a sea of buildings with Centre Georges Pompidou (mere meters from our apartment in Le Marais) in the distance on one side and La Tour Eiffel on the other.

William had this to say:

Eiffel Tower from Montmartre

Then we went to a church on a hill and went inside. It was much prettier than Notre Dame but still pretty dark [inside].

We ended the day with a stop at Mariage Frères for, perhaps, some of the best iced tea I’ve ever had. Violette French Summer Tea.

breakfast & locks

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(On the way to breakfast at Ladurée, Layli finally got to see my favorite bridge in Paris. ~ The Dad)


“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by.” – Robert Frost


We went to this bridge that had a side with locks. You add them to the fence when you love somebody and you know you will never not love them.

This is  how it works:

  1. You buy a lock
  2. Write your names on it
  3. Put it somewhere nice
  4. “Lock up your love” by locking it on the fence
  5. Throw the key in the river so you never unlock your love

My mom and dad wanted to take pictures but I did not want to be in any of them at all.

William took a picture of my mom and dad. I was in the way of it and William took a picture of me with my face in my dad’s big belly! I did not like that one at all.

Would you like that picture if you were in it? I bet you would not like to be in a picture like that when you had your face in your dad’s big belly.

paris flea market

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On Sunday we went to the Paris flea market (Marché aux Puces).

There was really boring stuff like clothes (which are not fun to look at all) and purses and other stuff. While my mom and sister shopped, my dad and I listened to street performers playing guitar. He really liked it.

For lunch we had pizza. It rained like crazy and then suddenly stopped!

At dinner time we weren’t really hungry. Mom suggested we just have crêpes. We went to this place by our apartment. The guy who made crêpes was very interesting. He is from Turkey, lived in Scotland and now lives in Paris and makes crêpes!

château de versailles

Metro passYesterday we took three trains to get to Versailles.

We took a guided tour of the palace. The tour guide asked if I wanted to be a king or president and I said no. Parts of this place have been around since 1623 – almost 400 years!

I learned a lot about French history too. I learned that kings had several bedrooms and secret doors to their other bedrooms. Some bedrooms were just for people to watch the king wake up!

We took a snack break at Angelina’s before going out to the gardens.  The gardens are huge! Nearly 1000 acres! My mom rented a golf cart and drove us around.

versailles mosaic

[Carin has a good set of pictures from her visit this past Friday.]

le galeries lafayette

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My mom, my grandma and I  went to the Le Galeries Lafayette mall. There was a lot of people at the mall. That means I had to hold on to somebody’s hand.

We went to look at shoes. There was also one floor that only had kid stuff. So we went to that floor. Look at all the cute we looked at even though we did not buy anything!

le galeries lafayette

a hobby store, gelato, & a bridge

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“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Paris is awesome!

We went to a place called Rose Bakery [Editor’s thanks: thank you parisinfourmonths.com!]. We (not me!) ate all this weird stuff [it was an assortiment de légumes].

Afterwards, my grandma, my mom, and my sister went to the mall [Galeries Lafayette] and looked at all this girly stuff.

PadlocksMy dad and I went to a hobby store [EOL] and looked at all these models. Then we went to a gelato place and I got some lemon gelato. As we paid, the cashier dropped the coins in the trash!

Then we went to a bridge with a whole bunch of locks. Each lock means you are in love with someone. Then we walked back to the apartment and rested our feet.