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France - Marseille
04.01.98 - MarseilleGot into Marseille this morning at 5am and had to sleep on the ground at the station until the money change places opened so we could check into a hotel. Think we'll try and spend as much time as possible relaxing in Marseille - we've been going through countries at a great pace up 'till now and we are due for a bit of a break.
We got our money and checked into a hotel. I had a shower and Brad and Joe slept for a couple of hours while I wandered around the town for a bit (I must have managed to get a few hours of sleep on the train). I got some pizza for breakfast (Mmmm.. healthy) and checked out some of the old forts at the harbour entrance and had a look at the fish markets (which were kind of stinky). I got hassled by some guy who wanted to take my photo for 2FF or something... Considering the amount of photographic equipment we had with us I didn't think I really needed any more photos.
Met Brad back at the hotel and we walked around south of the harbour for a while and took a few photos (Marseille is very photogenic). After that we pretty much crashed out for the rest of the afternoon and watched the only English-language show on TV -- a British motorsport show with lots of rally driving in it that we were all quite happy to watch.
We headed out again later that night to get some dinner and see the city at night. Took a few more photos and resisted the Irish Pub which, once again, looked somewhat dull in comparison with our Australian/Irish Pub experiences.
05.01.98 - Big White IslandsWe got up kind of late today, left our bags at the hotel after checking out and headed out for the day. I bought half a cheese pizza for breakfast (for some reason the pizza here is really good and cheap *) and we went to catch a ferry out to the islands just off the coast of Marseille.
* Marseille is renowned as being a Mafia city
We stayed on the island for a few hours until the next ferry came around to pick us up again. We just kind of wandered around - the water was crystal clear, but a bit cold to swim in, being winter and all! Being cold didn't stop us getting in the water for a gag photo, and Joe decided it would be a good idea to go skinny dipping despite the fact that the water we were swimming in was overlooked by a block of units.
The islands were very beautiful - approximating my idea of what the Greek islands would look like. I can see why sitting on an island in the Mediterranean is a popular thing to do in the summer. It was great to get out of all the cities for a while - it gets a bit much staying in city after city in Europe - gets a bit claustrophobic after a while.
We returned to the mainland, did some random shopping and bought some dinner to eat on the train - Rome tomorrow!