This photo of L'Avila Cassis is courtesy of TripAdvisor
A night to remember at L'Avilla Hotel
If you had chosen to stay at L'Avilla hotel, a little gem hidden away from the town centre, you could have woken up to that view!
It is a cross between a traditional B&B and a boutique hotel.
Take your time after brekkie to plunge in the pool a last time before hitting the scenic route to Marseille
The road goes over the pass of La Gineste - over 400m high - and through a moon like landscape due to the bushfires that have ravaged this area for decades and the driving can be quite a challenge even after the fire has been extinguished because of the smoke that ligers long after the firemen have left the scene...
In less than 25kms, you will then be rewarded with a spectacular view over Marseille and the posh suburb of Mazargues, where a distant surgeon cousin of mine used to have a beautiful house with a pool in the middle of a quite large "pinede" - a pine forest. It was the backdrop for many a family reunion with relatives that we didn't have a chance to see very often. It was paradise for us children at the time as we were losely supervised after lunch when the adults were tipsy with Rose de Provence and well fed by the resident wife/mother/cook extraordinaire!
You will certainly like to spend at least a full day in Marseille to make it justice.
The "Vieux Port" is obviously the centre of it,all lined up with restaurants all pretending to serve the best "bouillabaisse", this famous fish soup and fish medley, a fabulous treat if done properly, and with the freshest seafood
Behind the harbour on its west end, you will find all the posh boutiques and the big names like H&M, Zara and the likes on Avenue de la Republique. Once a pretty dilapidated and unsafe part of the city, this has been cleaned up over the last 10 years or so, restoring all these haussmanian structures to their original grandeur!
Another place you need to visit is "Chateau d'If", 3.5km away from the harbour. It is the local Alcatraz.
Although it was originally built as a fort by Francois 1er in the 1500s, it has actually mostly served as a prison until 1890. It has been popularised by Alexandre Dumas who set his novel " The Count of Monte Cristo" there.
Be aware that the boat ride can be quite bumpy, as very strong currents surround the island and can make the trip unconortable. That's another similarity with Alcatraz, although the water would certainly be warmer in Marseille than in San Francisco!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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