Woke up this morning to bright sunshine and a gorgeous view of Marseilles’ old port. We started the day with the most typical of French breakfasts, a croissant and café au lait. We walked around the area, stopping at the morning fish market. I wish I could have bought some of the fish, it could not have been fresher.
From there, we took a hop-on, hop-off bus for a tour of Marseilles—best way to see the city in a short amount of time. The city is lovely, with wonderful views of the Mediterranean, grand forts, cathedrals, and narrow streets. I hadn’t realized how mountainous the area is, but when you’re at a high point the panoramic views are stunning.
Being in a large bus on narrow, winding, steep streets was quite an experience. Some of the turns were extremely tight and I wondered how the driver managed to maneuver through them so adroitly—lots of practice for sure. Several illegally parked vehicles temporarily interrupted the tour. There was no way for the bus to get around them and the drivers had to be located. I got enough of a taste of the city to know I’ll have to come back and spend more time there.
We took a train from Marseilles to Arles, where we boarded the AMA Cello, the river boat that will be our hotel for the next week. I have a feeling the sundeck will become my home away from home. Sitting with a glass of delightfully dry rose, sunshine, and a cool breeze on my face, with lovely scenery as a backdrop is about as good as it gets.
During the ship welcome and introduction, we found out that a large group from a Napa winery makes up most of the passengers. They invited us to join them for wine tastings and a special wine dinner. It was an unexpected and much appreciated bonus to what I already anticipate will be a fabulous cruise.