A Travellerspoint blog

Marseille, France

Very interesting city

Let me say upfront that the locals here were very friendly to tourists, not like the locals in Paris.

Marseille has it's own "Hollywood sign"
They do a lot of movies here and in fact they were filming downtown while we visited. All we know is "Happy" is part of the movie name.

This city was formed 600 BC by the Greeks. There were people here already, but the Greeks formed the infrastructure and built the Old Port. It's a mix of older buildings and newer ones because it was bombed so heavily during WW2.
It's also the largest City in France with almost a million people.
This is the second oldest building still standing in the City. The oldest is so broken we didn't visit it. Someone actually bought it and tried to sell it on Ebay, but the City got in an uproar and stopped the sale.large_IMG_5125.JPG
This was originally a Hotel Dieu, a hospital run by nuns, but is now a very popular luxury hotel.
Seems every City in Europe has it's own entry arch.

This building has it's windows blocked up because they used to tax you based on how many windows you had. This led to public diseases because there was not enough fresh air entering the buildings.

Of course there's a beautiful church. I didn't get the name but apparently it's not as ornate as the one on the hill which we didn't have time to visit.

Napoleon began building this Church, maybe that's were the word neapolitan colors came from, but since the Church took 40 years to build, he was no longer the Emperor when it was finished.
The girls were braiding hair, interesting to watch.

Our ship is docked in the New Port, since the Old Port wasn't deep enough for today's larger ships.
This is a picture of the Old Port. Off the coast you can see an island. In 1720, a ship from Syria named Grand Saint-Antoine carrying cotton and silks came to port, but there were people dying on board. The port authorities quarantined them for 40 days to that island. (Quarante is 40 in French) large_123e9300-ff0a-11ed-ba07-397e85f7b9bf.JPGlarge_IMG_5135.JPG

The merchant paid off the authorities, so they allowed them to dock. The ship had rats, the rats had fleas, and Marseille is where the Bubonic Plague began. It killed 100,000 people.

Back to our ship and sailing to La Spezia and Pisa. Hope to see a leaning tower!

Love Y'all
Bill & Chrissy

Posted by AZBill 16:19

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Did you get to use your French?

by Pat Belanger

Spent a few days in La Spezia ourselves ; found the“leaning tower” to be not so impressive. Hope your experience is better than ours.

by Nancy Felber

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