Friday, May 8, 2009

Family Returns to France

Chris' parents, Carolyn & David, along with his Aunt Sharon, arrived on Sunday, April 26th. They were pretty tired from their flight, so they came over to our place first and relaxed and slept during the afternoon. Chris & I helped them get their bags to their hotel, which was right off the Vieux Port. The location was perfect, as there was a metro station right outside. We dropped off their bags, and took them over to a Brasserie for dinner.

On Monday, April 27th, we met up with the family at the Vieux Port. It was a bit cloudy, so we walked around the port trying to decide what to do for the day. The boat to Frioule and Chateau d'If were not running, so we couldn't do that. So we walked around the fish market, which was an experience. Fishermen would go out for the morning, and bring in their fresh catch right up to the port, right to a small table where they would display the fish. The seafood was still alive sitting on the table, and when someone would purchase one, they would kill it and clean it right there in front of you. I had a very hard time witnessing this and now know I will not be purchasing any fish from there.

There was a massive sailing ship pulled into the port. I don't know how they managed to get that ship in and out of the small port, but they did!

The sun started coming out, and we decided that we should grab some lunch and then do the Calanque boat tour. Lunch was at Collins Cafe, the place where Chris & I ate for the first time after arriving in Marseille.

We hopped on board the tour boat and took off into the Mediterranean for the Calanques. The sun was shining bright, and the clouds cleared away. On the first half of the trip, I was feeling a bit quesy, but was enjoying myself. The tour boat took us around the coast of Marseille, all the way over to the port at Cassis. We were able to point out where Chris & I had hiked the Calanques to the family. The views were beautiful from the boat and it really gave Chris & I a different perspective of where we hike. There were people hiking along the paths of the Calanques, and some sunning themselves on the beaches. We even saw one topless woman who displayed herself right near the water.

On the way back from Cassis, on our three hour tour (cue the Gilligan's Island theme song), I started feeling very nauseas. I had to close my eyes and put myself into deep self hypnosis to make it back to shore without being sick. I imagined myself on the NYC subway rocking back and forth, which worked like a charm in relaxing me. Usually, I'm fine on the short boat ride to Frioule island, or on a boat going around the island of Manhattan. The small waves of the Mediterranean ended up being a bit more harsh than I had imagined. I did get sick when we did our whale watching tour in Maine, so I guess 3 hour tours on the sea are not so great for me. Oh well, will just have to do some hypnotic preparation next time I want to do a boat trip.

Everyone else enjoyed the whole trip and we took lots of great pics along the way. When we arrived back on shore, we went for dinner at Le Daube, a Provencal restaurant just of the port. The food was excellent! I had oysters gratinee, and a delicious fish of some kind. David had bouillabaisse soup, which is famous here in Marseille.

Pictures can be found at

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