After enjoying our time in Paris, we headed east to Marseille for our first taste of the Mediterranean Sea. When we arrived, we were quite taken aback. The city streets were filled with litter and dog poo and it seemed every surface had graffiti on it. We had expected a glamourous city like Paris but discovered the exact opposite.
The only part of Marseille that held a little interest was the very old harbour in the heart of the city. It had a little charm and there was an old fort you could hike up to to get a view of the city.
However, there was a saving grace to our visit here. One of the staff members at our hostel told us about an area called the Calanques just outside of town that you could visit by hopping on one of the local buses. As we had seen more than enough of the city, we headed out the next morning to check it out.
Our hostel friend had told us that Calanques meant fingers and that this area had fingers of rocks that went into the sea and areas to swim between them.
It was a 45 minute hike down to the water from the bus stop and our first impression of the place was amazement. We were surrounded by beautiful white rocky cliffs on both sides and our first view of the Mediterranean was impressive.
After our scramble down, we spent the afternoon sun bathing on the rocky beaches and soaking up the scenery.
Visiting the Calanques certainly made the trek to Marseille worthwhile after all.