Costa Diadema 202 (Medium)

As an Art & Craft Lover, Marseilles was sheer bliss for me! Every street round every corner was alive with original eye-catching ideas.

Catering-size blue plastic oil cartons were laid on their sides with a hole cut in the top, and filled with plants.

Several streets had paintings for sale, hung outside on their walls. Others had their walls painted with imaginative designs.

A bicycle dangled from an upstairs window. Even that was artistic!

Imagine all your neighbours wrapping brightly-coloured modelling clay round their drainpipes, on their window-sills, and on chairs stood outside their front doors!

No, I can’t either. But I can imagine the moaning neighbour complaining to the Council about it, if the vandals didn’t get to it first!

Church on seafront

Church on seafront

Even the graffiti in Marseilles is artistic.

We wandered along the spotless seafront, then we dived into the narrow Old Town streets. What a contrast!

24 hour condom dispenser

24 hour condom dispenser

One narrow street led to another, and there were plants and paintings everywhere!

Every house seemed to compete with its neighbours, but in a friendly, blending, inspirational way, all bouncing ideas off each other.

Being British and living in a Mind-Your-Own-Business country, it took us a while to adjust and realise that we were meant to wander round slowly and stand and openly stare, taking time to admire the artistic designs.Costa Diadema 201 (Medium)

Oh I wish all my neighbours were like that. It would really awaken my creative juices!

It’s obviously a very laid-back area as the shops, cafes and restaurants were only just opening at way after 10am!

We were ready for a coffee and the owner said that he wasn’t open for food, but we could have a coffee.

While we sat at the outside table on the road and drank it, his father drank glass after glass of beer, watching his son do all the work, and chatting to the neighbours.

The blocks of apartments are very close together, and as much as six stories high.

They let down baskets on long ropes for their bread and groceries, so they obviously don’t have any lifts fitted in the old buildings.Costa Diadema 204 (Medium)

There was so much to see that we hardly scratched the surface!

We’ve since discovered that there’s a glass ceiling somewhere that looks as though everyone’s walking upside-down. And there’s a wall painted with a street that looks so realistic that people walk right up to it and still don’t realise that it’s graffiti, and they try to walk along it!

Marseilles is famous for its soap and the Grasse perfumes.

There are fields and fields of lavender nearby.

I bought loads of soap for Christmas presents. A lot of them are made by the shop owners.

Although I can speak French, I struggled a bit with the replies.Costa Diadema 205 (Medium)

We went in a small supermarket to buy some wine and I also bought a bottle of orange flower flavouring.

‘Your French is different here,’ I said.

The owner told me, ‘It’s a melange of nationalities; a salad!’

Strolling back along the seafront, we stopped for a couple of beers. The food was very attractive looking, but we didn’t have time to eat.

We were pleasantly surprised when we got the bill as it was so low – right on the seafront in a busy part of the town!

We caught our bus back to the cruise ship.

I noticed a wall on an old building in the docks with holes all over it. I was sure that they were bullet holes.

The bus driver heard me talking about it and told me in French that yes, they were bullet holes from the War.Costa Diadema 206 (Medium)

Standing next to us, an old German couple seemed very embarrassed.

That evening, we had dinner with a Norwegian couple and sadly he’d had his wallet stolen out of his pocket with all their Euros in it.Costa Diadema 207 (Medium)

The thieves must have seen him take it out and followed him.

They were admiring the town until that happened and really enjoying themselves.Costa Diadema 208 (Medium)

As it was their last day before going home, they were planning to buy presents for their family.

What a shame. It only takes one bad ingredient to ruin a lovely Salad!

Brilliantly balanced building on seafront.

Brilliantly balanced building on seafront.