There’s Something About Marseille…

“We’re he-er,” A voice from the front seat cooed as I groggily tried to rub off the faint traces of sleep that still haunted my eyes.

The sleek, white Renault trundled to a stop just as I popped my head out its window to get a good look at the view outside – and I DEFINITELY wasn’t disappointed!

“Oh. My. Granola bar.” I sputtered, pinching myself to make sure that I was really, truly in the beach capital of France, and not tucked away in bed, half a world away.

I’m still not sure what exactly it was that stupefied my senses so dramatically in that moment. Maybe it was the piercing blue of the ocean, its waves crashing onto the shore with a symphony of sounds. Or maybe it was the sight of the darling cobblestone streets, twisting around town in a mosaic of brick and mortar. It might have even been the rows and rows of quirky, sea-facing cottages that threw me – but whatever the reason, I was completely DAZZLED.

And, as I was going to find out, each moment that I would spent in Marseille would just make me fall deeper and deeper in love with it.

In the five days that we spent basking in the glorious French summer sun, we did little more than eat, explore and enjoy everything to the fullest [and did I mention eat?].

We prayed for world peace in the celebrated Marseille cathedral, browsed artsy cafés and galleries on La Canebiére, ate our weight in bread and cheese, witnessed a thumping flash mob [and, yes, it was just like walking onto the set of an SRK movie], took a tiny train up a hill to get a look at the beloved “Notre Dame de la Garde” sculpture, bathed in the frigid waters of the sea [which was followed by a sun-bathed yoga session on the shore] and swiped every single freebie within a 3-mile radius of our apartment [hey, you know what they say; you can take a girl out of India, but you can’t take India out of the girl!].

And, oh, don’t even get me started on Marseille by night! Every evening, just as the sun started to dip towards the horizon, the lights from the yachts docked at the port would shimmer in the frosty air and lend an exotic glow to the entire coast. The high-rises that dotted the port side would light up just as twilight would start setting in and add a glamorous touch to the whole affair.

It really is true; moonlit Marseille is the perfect place for a little stroll. As we ended up eating out almost every night, we were able to take utmost advantage of this and gawked at the beauty all around us as we made our way home.

When the time came for us to leave the picturesque coastal haven, there’s no doubt that I’d have given pretty much anything to stay. In just five days, Marseille had already made me feel like I belonged within its sun-kissed borders.

My only consolation as I looked out into the infinitely large ocean one last time before getting back into the Renault was that somehow, I just knew that I was going to return one day.

And that thought makes me very happy.

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