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Steph’s Travel Diary

Friday, 23 May 2008

Location: Marseille, Italy

MapMarseille is a town of many sights mostly involving water beaches, the harbour and islands. We had a great time in Marseille, but had a small issue with our accommodation. We turned up to the hotel we booked and it turns out they had confused me with a Stephanie Tom who was booked in for exactly the same nights as us. As a consequence we had no room luckily they could give us a triple room for one night but the other two they had nothing. So we headed to the tourist office to find ourselves somewhere to stay. The problem was Marseille was full we tried everywhere. Finally the lady at the tourist office found us a room at the Ibis a bit out of the main harbour area but we had somewhere to stay at least!

After staying the night at the hotel we were originally booked for we packed up and headed to the Metro to catch a train to our new hotel as it was quite a way from the centre. We got to the Metro and wondered why all these people were chanting and marching and why the station was all locked up yes it was our first French workers strike. Apparently it happens quite a lot. So with no other option, off we went with our mammoth packs to walk about an hour to our hotel I don't think our shoulders recovered for days after!

Other than that Marseille was fantastic. We took a boat trip to the Château D'If of Count of Monte Cristo fame, where we walked through the cells and got up close and personal with the oversized seagulls on the island. We also walked along the coastline and lay on one of the beaches, which was nice. We also took a bus tour of the town during peak hour and got a first-hand experience of a French trafic jam a lot of angry French people in small cars with loud horns driving like crazy people!

We enjoyed the old Le Panier quarter of Marseille, with it's old buildings and quaint soap shops we discovered Marseille is famed for its soap.