Sunday, August 22, 2010

Provence Lampoons Family Vacation: Part 1

A hot and sunny Marseille welcomed us last Friday. We brought my Aunt and Uncle to Notre-Dame de la Garde, because walking your 70 year old Irish Aunt and Uncle up a 154 meter hill with a bazillion steps in scorching south of France heat is always a good idea.

(It is like a bazillion steps, I counted).

But when you get there it's worth it...

{some of the bazillion steps}



You can see all of Marseille from the top...

{a whole bunch of buildings}

And where one of my favorite literary characters, Edmond Dantes, lived for awhile. The small island in the middle is Chateau d'If from Count of Monte Cristo, or as I called it when I was little, Count of Monte Crisco... 

And see this wall, it's got some big bullet holes in it...

And then you find out why...

An American tank is parked down down the hill from the Basilica. It is situated roughly where the Allied troops were shooting from. Apologies for not taking a photo, I was too busy taunting The Husband.

{Sidebar - whenever I see something like this, I like to look at The Husband and say, "You're welcome." He hates it when I do this. I love it.}

I grabbed this one from the Internet for you...

After the Allied troops bombarded the Nazis, the Nazis then moved to Le Petit Village where they became Nazi Ghost Zombies. 

True Story.



P.S. Leaving Marseille we drove by a Starbucks! My beloved, allusive lover Starbucks! Starbucks moved to Marseille in May and nobody told me. 100km journey every morning, not that big of a deal.


  1. It is a ton of steps. And if you were really really devout you would go up to Notre Dame on your knees. (or just really like pain).
    I can't believe there is a Starbucks in Marseille! Where pray tell? Not that I am a huge Starbucks fan, just that I thought that the French with their coffee would never allow such an American "coffee" chain to expand out of Paris.

  2. Megan - thank heavens I'm not devout!! Starbucks is on rue de la république. Now that one is in Marseille, it's only a matter of time until Aix. My husband is always telling me that Starbucks could never make it in the south, but that's what they used to say about their beloved McDo! :-)

  3. Goodmorning Sarah Louise, well as I'm getting more and more into the French mood, Marseille is on my list now,and now there's a their cheesecake.
    Enjoy your Sunday

  4. So gorgeous!! I love Starbucks too! xo

  5. Count of Monte Crisco... HAHAHAHA!! Love it. And love the taunt you give your husband, I'd probably do the same. Shh... don't tell any cute, single French men that. :-P

    Gorgeous photos! Where are the pics of the Starbucks?? Surely you made them stop for you. lol

  6. Sara, glad to see you back! Loved the story and the bazillion steps just to get those great photos!

    Taunting The Husband? Well, every now and then there needs to be a petit reminder, n'est-ce pas?

    Glad you found the Starbucks -- I wondered how the prices compare in France.

  7. "You're welcome." LOL!

    What a beautiful place. I'm glad you post pictures. I never would know what Marseille is all about otherwise.

  8. Amen on the starbucks comment! I miss my daily stop on the way to work--it might not be the highest quality coffee in the world, but something about that familiar paper cup and that always-the-same-no-matter-where-in-the-world-you-go taste puts it at the top of my list :). Beautiful photos! Looks like a great trip!

  9. Great photos! I love France and the bio of your hubby's family and friends is great. It sounds like some good people to hang out with. Great reading!

  10. It's only kilometers, not miles. You and Fifty can easily do it. Enjoy!

  11. Starbucks in Marseille. We're still firing the bullets of Le'Liberation!

  12. hubby begged for a cup of starbucks coffee while we were in aix 2 years ago...had been away from the U.S. for 3 weeks and he needed that familiar taste...but to no avail... he had a local ask him "don't you realize you are in france?"

  13. I'm reading the Count of Monte Cristo right now! It's my hubby's number one super fave book, and I can't wait until we can make our way down South to see Marseille and Chateua d'If...I still don't see how Edmond could ever have survived the fall when he escaped...

    Glad to have you back, hope the trip was fun!

  14. Welcome back! Looks like a beautiful trip, even without the Starbucks fix.

    "You're welcome." Well, they say marriage is all about the "give-and-take" you know. :)

  15. Well done for forcing your elderly relatives up bazillions of steps - no pain no gain!

    I'm back in the blogosphere after taking a break for my wedding and looking forward to catching up with all the news from everyones summers

    Thanks for your congratulatory comments on my blog

    Sarah Elizabeth x

  16. I love living vicariously through the beautiful pictures you post. I can imagine being there..

  17. Dear Sara,
    this time I want to visit Marseille, I never see it before in my french travels. You have to tell me where I can drink Starbucks coffee, I love it! Thanks for your post for my birthday, I really appreciate! Have a wonderful stay with your parents!
    Bisou, Babi

  18. Hahaha! Starbucks is trying to take over Europe one town at a time...just you wait...


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