Today Hannah and I met up mid morning at another landmark. Ok, it was McDonalds again – but a different one. We caught a bus out to the Calanques to do a little hiking.
On the bus ride over we met a girl from Prince George (in my home province) who was on her way to work doing genetic research at the university here in Marseille. She let us know about the trails at the Calanques and which ones to take – a huge help.
When we got to the park we decided we would do two trails. The first one went up a bit to an observation area and the second led down to the river bed where we could hang out on the rocks by the water.
An important note to anyone who ever goes hiking – one bottle of water is not enough! I ran out of water as we were nearing the end of the first trail and we still had to go back and then go on the second trail.
Of course I held out hope that somehow magically there would be a vending machine around the corner or some clever entrepreneur selling bottles at 5 euros a pop (which I would have gladly paid) but alas there wasn’t.
So I made the best of it and just toughed out the rest of the afternoon. It didn’t help that I’ve been fighting a cold for the last couple of days but, whatever, we were in the sun on a peaceful trail in the south of France.
When we got to the river bed we found a nice large rock to rest on and took out our reward for the day – a couple of huge slices of salmon quiche. I had noticed them at a cafe the night before and instantly I knew that would be our lunch today so Hannah picked them up on her way to meet me earlier.
They were amazing and actually hydrated me a little probably because of the dairy inside. I was ready to tackle the end of the hike so we headed off.
I think we spent a little over 3 hours in the park and at the end found a nice water fountain to replenish my water bottle. We took the bus back and went to our respective hostels to rest up before meeting up again later on.
By then it was around 4pm and I was pretty wiped out. Along with being stuffed up, the sun really wore me down and I felt like I had zero energy. I just wanted a nap.
But first I had to visit that amazing little cafe I discovered the day before. This time I had a sandwich with duck, goat cheese and sauteed onions and of course the wine, chips and dessert that went with it.
I was dead tired and lying in bed half asleep knowing that I had to get back up and get out there to meet Hannah shortly. It was really hard to get up and I’m glad Hannah was here in Marseille otherwise I would have probably just spent the day in bed in the hostel.
When I finally snapped out of it and got out of bed I quickly got my stuff together and went to go meet her. Our plan was to walk up the other part of town today and see the cathedral up the hill.
My meals at Marseille have been drastically different from what I had in Nice mostly because I’ve been with Hannah here and I know her budget doesn’t leave room for the three course meals. It actually ended up being a really nice thing because, for one, I saved a ton of money and, two, I had two unique meals.
Yesterday I had a hot dog and coleslaw for dinner on a patio by the waterfront. Today we went shopping at the supermarket for a picnic for the end of our walk tonight.
We picked up sliced turkey, a ball of mozzarella cheese (cool, don’t see that in supermarkets back home), a tomato, a couple of apples, some beets (yummy!), peach iced tea and a fresh warm baguette at a boulangerie down the street. I took some supplies from my hostel to complete the meal and we were on our way.
Of course the walk was long and uphill but it was worth it. We climbed the stairs to the cathedral just before they closed the gates and spread out our picnic on the steps leading up to the church. As we ate this amazing meal and watched the sunset I couldn’t help but think that this was a perfect end to my time in Marseille.