FERRY BOAT --- CESAR
After strolling around the harbour, we were all getting a bit fatigued (gosh we're getting to be old poops) so decided to hop on the little ferry boat which takes you back to the other side. It was a short, but fun way to cross over.
A taste of Madagascar in Marseille
My friend that I stayed with is Malagasy and also with my impending mission to the country in Ocotber, I couldn't resist the chance to have a taste of the country by venturing to this rather fascinating Malagasy shop in the older town area of Marseille.
The owner spoke for a looong time with my friend in Malagche, so she had to translate after we left. It's got all you may be interested in, food, games, artefacts, toys, books to learn Malagache, maps, flags, whatever you'd expect from a shop that gave you a real taste of a country.
After my visit there, I became more excited about my upcoming mission.
Al fresco drinks
Bar de la Marine sits on one side of the Vieux Port, not far from the small César ferry stop. At lunchtimes, it serves as a restaurant, but at time of writing, I cannot comment on the food as I have never eaten there. It's a nice place to have a drink, though, with ample outdoor seating. Popular with the locals, many stop here for a pre-meal "pastaga" or beer, and it's a good place to watch the people go by, albeit somewhat noisy at times, due to its proximity to the main road. On some evenings, they run special function nights. See their website for details.
The Abbey of Saint Victor
The Abbey of Saint Victor has been standing on the same place since 416. At that point Marseille had seen the rise and fall of the Greek and Roman empires, and was close to a new important epoque, the Merovingian era. That year, the mysterious monk John Cassian, founded a church dedicated to the patron saint of the seafarers, St. Victor of Marseille. The remains of the patron saint and the skull of the abbeys founder John Cassian still rest in the church.
The Abbey looks more like an old medieval fortress than a church, as it is situated on a hill overlooking the fortifications protecting the old harbour. Only a small part of the current structure, close to the old doorway, goes back to 5th century. The church as it is today, dates back to the early 11th century. Part of the old church was demolished during the French revolution. It is a wonderful experience to enter the darkness in this small mysterious basilica, built in the romanesque style. It is probably the oldest piece of archictecture left in Marseille from a turbulent and important time in European history.
Musee des Docks Romains
This small museum near the Old Port chronicles the very ancient history of this city. Here are artifacts left by Greek and Roman inhabitants and visitors thousands of years ago. Amphoras, used to transport wine, are on display along with pottery and remnants of ancient galley ships.