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Believe In The South Of France

I’ve heard the hype about the South of France.

A place for the wealthy. Posh tourism. In my youth I decided that it was one of those places I will visit on a European cruise I do with my husband. When I’m 50. In short, South of France was not as attractive as sleeping on a beach shack in Thailand.

Then I challenged myself and went. Spurred on by a sale with Eurostar I bought a ticket to Marseille, France. I always wanted to go to Grasse so I extended the trip to include Grasse and Nice.

My research told me that Marseille was not nice and that I should leave as soon as possible. However, on arrival I saw beauty. The train station itself will have a post on it’s own because it wowed me. Apart of that, there was something beautiful about this city that I couldn’t put in words.

Fishing boat bringing in the catch for the daily fish market in Old Port, Marseille
Fishing boat bringing in the catch for the daily fish market in Old Port, Marseille

As I ambled down the streets, I questioned why Marseille was not promoted as other coastal French cities. The views, the food and the sea. It was a beautiful city and it puzzled me why it was slept on.

As I sat down enjoying the views of the sunset, I decided that it was a good thing. Yes, I want the rest of the world to sleep on Marseille. Overlook it so that I can enjoy it all to myself. I will be making many trips to Marseille in the future.

Tourists on the strip in Nice, France
Tourists on the strip in Nice, France

I then took a gruelling train to Nice. No air conditioning I could see my fellow passengers melting with me in the Mediterranean heat. I really wanted to stay in Grasse but the accommodation was booked up so I decided to go to Nice and take a day trip. Nice was the opposite to Marseille.

My quiet spot in Nice
My quiet spot in Nice

Marseille had a lot of tourists but it was cheap, quiet and never felt crowded. Nice on the other hand was crowded and overpriced. After my trip to Grasse, I ran back into the arms of Marseille. Nice did not seduce me so I ended up doing more work there and exploring.

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The ‘mascot’ for Grasse

Upon my arrival in Grasse I knew I had to come back. It truly is a beautiful town. I knew it as the fragrance capital of the world but my appreciation of the town grew as I ambled through the small streets. This is a must see on the coast.

Tourists in Old Port
Tourists in Old Port

My time in France has encouraged me to keep going. To explore Europe because it’s my next door neighbour. The continent is a good source of inspiration so one does not need to go all the way to Asia for inspiration. Most importantly, it’s more beautiful than package holidays and interesting even in my youth.

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