Marseille is a pretty seaside town. Right by the sea, sits the beautiful Notre-Dame de la Garde as highly recommended by the Hermes sales assistant. Thanks to spending too much time in Carrefour and getting carried away looking at the massive selection of groceries that Singapore lack, we were greeted by closed gates when we reach the church.
Notre-Dame deal Garde was built by the architect Henri-Jacques Espérandieu on the foundations of an ancient fort. The fort was located at the highest natural elevation in Marseille, which is on a 149 m (490 ft) limestone on the south side of the Old Port of Marseille. It is an important local landmark and the site of a popular annual pilgrimage every year on Assumption Day, August 15.
The church opens daily from 7am to 6.15pm, we were there just about 6.30pm. Late by a mere 15 minutes, thus sealed my fate to only the exterior photos of the church.
Standing on a high evaluation, just a few steps away from the church opens up to an amazing view of the ocean. It’s a sight one will often says “oh my gosh, this is beautiful”. I silently recite these words in my heart, focusing to stay as cool as possible.
Right below, I can see a new shopping development and how I wish I have time to roam this new area. Afar, are boats closing into the harbour, seagulls flying right above the coastal area. On my left I can see a lighthouse in the horizon which I guess must be the Phare de Sainte Marie lighthouse in the old port of Marseille. Soaking in the fresh fragrance of the French Mediterranean Sea, a few photos for memories and I bid farewell till the next time I’ll be back in this part of France again. (which god knows when)
Parting this city exploring it only for 4 hours left me incomplete. I heard many people mention that Marseille is just like any other coastal city with nothing much but perhaps it’s my first time meeting the Mediterranean sea, or because of the beautiful summer sunday atmosphere that surrounds the city, but I felt there is much more to explore in this city than a tourist harbour spot.
Driving around the narrow roads, I saw there are hidden corners waiting to be discovered, off the beaten track terrain to be explored, or just lazing in a cafe over-looking the ocean. This French city is worth at least 2 days stay or maybe a base for exploring the nearby towns. But alas, I’m sure the hotel rates at astronomical during the summer holiday, thus I shall leave this city till fate let us meet again.