Sunday, June 9, 2013

marseilles & cassis [the south of france]

Back in April, I went on a two-day school trip to the south of France. My friends and I joked about how sitting on the beach felt foreign to us, having lived most recently in places like New York City and Paris. After a semester fileld with gray days in Paris, the beach was the perfect getaway. Of all of my weekends spent abroad, this ranks as one of my most cherished.

The first destination was Marseilles, the oldest and second largest city in France. In comparison to Paris, Marseilles feels like an entirely different country save for the French language. The port city is far more rugged in its architecture, a mix of new and old that isn't anywhere as extravagant as Paris. On almost every block, there were construction sites, as the city is undergoing a huge reconstruction in order to ameliorate its status (Marseilles had a bit of a seedy reputation in the past). Pictured above is one of the more contemporary additions to this old city, a modern art museum if I can recall correctly.

At the top of the city lies a Catholic Basilica, Notre-Dame de la Garde, pictured off in the distance below.

The drive up to the basilica featured breathtaking views of the sea.

Once we reached the basilica, the highest natural point in the city, we were able to get a great 360 view of the the city and the sea.

Inside the basilica.

Our night ended with a dinner held on a docked boat restaurant, we watched the sun set a million different shades of blue, pink, and purple. Unfortunately no photos but you can imagine....

The next morning, we took a bus ride through breathtaking cliffs on our way to a beautiful commune, Cassis. 

Once we reached the charming commune, we took a boat ride on the Mediterranean along Cassis' famous cliffs. Literally the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my whole life, the water was unbelievably blue.

For the rest of the day we explored the area on land and then settled onto the rocky beach where we enjoyed ice cream and beer until it was time to drive back to the train station. 

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