Well, the day has come and gone without a hitch. Just like that, our time in France has slipped away from us. I have to say this, coming from someone who has never really had any interest in visiting France – Marseille surprised me. I really enjoyed it and I could easily see myself going on a return visit someday. One day here is not enough. You should come and just take it easy here someday.
The day began on a fairly long shuttle trip in the rain. It was relatively light rain, but we knew we had at least forty or so minutes of walking ahead of us so that would easily add up. We did get pretty wet but we decided to stop a few times along the way to get some coffee and then we stopped at a charming little bakery.
I had woken up very bloated from eating too much bread and fried food the day before, so I didn’t get any bread myself, but Jodie and Declan got some delicious croissants which I tried a little bit of it. Jodie was in heaven. Kiley and Ava came with us but were alone today because Rob was not feeling well enough to walk. It was nice to have them along with us.
Half of the walk was mostly uphill. Declan’s feet got tired pretty often so I had to carry him a lot. I definitely felt that (and still do) in my feet and hips. It also made me decide ultimately that the hill climb tomorrow in Barcelona is out of the question. I don’t think my legs and hips can take carrying him all the way up to Park Guell. We will stick to going no further than Sagrada Familia, which is still a hike.
Anyway, back to today. We finally arrived at the apartment building of our host Justine, who we had booked for a private pastry baking event. We are so glad we did.
Justine was so welcoming and patient with us. On the menu at her place were vanilla bean cream puffs. I had never really been a fan of cream puffs before, but I trusted that it would be good, considering that she was highly rated and was also a pastry chef.
Her home was so cozy and welcoming. I could see from the look in Jodie’s eyes that she was imagining living there. It was right up her alley – small, cute, manageable and within 500 meters of a boulegerie in any direction. Even I have to admit I started daydreaming of living there in a place just like it, higher up on a hill with all the charm of France and the nicer weather to boot. I could finally understand the allure of being there, and thought it would be definitely nice to go back sometime.
The cream puffs were not overly difficult to make, they just took time. When they were all done, they had also made a believer out of me for that particular dessert. We ate a bunch of them just in case they didn’t pass through customs/security on our way back to the ship. (Thankfully they did end up passing through, no problem.)
Completely full of sugar in the form of tasty French pastries, we knew it was time to return to the ship. This time, we opted to take the train back. Just a warning to anyone in the states who are used to metro doors closing at a reasonable rate: European metro doors are merciless slamming machines. I barely managed to get Declan in the doors as they closed on me. I pushed my way in, but I ended up with a little bit of a hurt shoulder as I tried my hardest to make it on with the rest of my party.
Then, the stop we were to get off was closed for renovations, but just on our side. We took the train for one more stop, hopped back on the other train side with a million other people and then got off.
Even despite the train issues and the rain, our day was absolutely one of the major highlights of our trip so far. It really is a beautiful city, one that I wish we had more time to explore. If you ever find your way into Marseille and would like to experience the baking class we attended, the link is below. Tomorrow, on to Barcelona.