My favorite thing about living in Marseille is that it is so close to other amazing places. A few weeks ago, I had intended to have a quiet weekend in the city while my friends planned a trip to Nice and Monaco. I had already visited Nice so I figured staying home wouldn’t be so bad (and it wasn’t), but after a day of being in Marseille I decided last minute that I wanted to meet up with my friends. So that night at 11 PM I booked a train to Nice for the following morning! Back in Mississippi I feel like I have to plan in advance to go anywhere even remotely cool, but here I can book a train ticket the night before for just a few Euros to go to one of the most visited areas in the French Riviera… Really, what is this life I’m living right now?! Anyway, I met up with everyone at the hostel early that morning and then set off for Monaco.
Ok, so Monaco is filled to the brim with billionaires and it was very apparent from the moment we got into the city. The cars that line the streets are incredible and the marina is filled with massive yachts, there was even a yacht show the day we were there. Unfortunately, it was quite a dreary day and rained a little on and off, but we still had a great time. Part of the fun was going to the Monte Carlo, deciding that we didn’t want to pay the 10 Euro cover, and going to the casino next door to gamble (and lose). Although we didn’t win big money wise, it was interesting to see such an affluent area.
We went back to Nice that night and spent the next day there as well. We spent time on the beautiful beaches and walked up a large hill that overlooks the city. At the top of the hill there is also a small, man-made waterfall that was very pretty… so pretty that one of my friends decided to get in the water! What he lacked in dry clothing, he gained in attention from the other tourists. He even made it on an older woman’s Instagram! After all of this we caught a bus back to Marseille and rested up for the school week ahead.
One other small adventure that I had on a whim was a day trip to Aix-en-Provence. This small, adorable town is only a 30 minute bus ride away! Again, how blessed am I to have these places at my fingertips? One of the many reasons I’ve been loving my study abroad experience! Anyway, Aix-en-Provence is filled with delicious food and distinctively French scenery. Most of the day was spent wandering around and finding pretty churches and museums. We even ran into a small art museum with a Picasso and a Mondrian. That evening we found ourselves in the middle of a festival and a dance show. We went to the front of the crowd and watched as groups of kids performed and battled with older hip hop dancers. After the dance show ended, some comedians and a magician did a show, but we left before it all ended because we knew we needed to catch the bus home. One of these days I’ll have to go back because the town was so charming!
I know that there are plenty more destinations within just a short distance from Marseille. My friends and I love finding new places to visit within our area so that we can experience something a little different than our town, but still remain immersed in the French culture. Speaking of new places, I’ll have to write soon about my weekend in Lyon! 🙂