2 days in Marseilles

Trip Start Aug 25, 2006
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22
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Trip End Dec 15, 2006


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Friday, October 13, 2006

Luke and I booked our train tickets to use up our final Eurail pass to Madrid and the only way we could get there in a single day was to leave Marseilles at 12:25am and travel until 5pm (have to do it all in a single day because we only have the single Eurail day left). So we decided to spend the night before here and check the town out. I was told by a French girl back in Australia to give Marseilles a miss and instead check out Aix en Provence. I now understand and agree with this advice.

Marseilles isn't too bad and there is perhaps a couple of days worth of things here for this time of year, but it's very dirty in comparison to other French cities (and France is far from the cleanest place we've been) and our travel books are full of warnings about avoiding certain districts of the city at night. The warnings about the districts are probably a little over the top but we probably missed the worst of the town during our wanderings last night. We have tonight still but I doubt we'll see much trouble.

Probably the most annoying thing is the lack of public transport after 9pm. What made it even worse was our unawareness of this fact and our disappointment when we tried to get the metro back home at 10pm. Like every city in France it's expensive and our hostel sucked pretty hard too. But it's a very nice looking city with lots of hills and forts and things to walk up and look out from. There are some interesting and bustling districts full of foreigners of mostly middle-eastern descent. However, like Nice they have a lot of the main boulevards and pedestrian thoroughfares that are torn to pieces while they lay tram lines. I can't say I would want to visit here again in a hurry given the significantly better destinations that are only a short distance away.
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