Well we never got moved on in the night and in fact were joined by more campervans. We walked to the beach, Plage Couronne, for a quick look before setting off for Marseille.
Plan A had been to drive through Marseille to Pointe Rouge and get the boat into Marseille but as we were passing through L’Estaque on the way, another point to catch the boat into Marseille, we headed for there (Plan B) only to find that it was market day again and no parking spaces to be found. We continued through to Marseilles (Plan C) in the hope of getting parked and managed to get to the Vieux Port without any hassle. Tony found a place to park alongside the port where there had been some roadworks that had not yet been totally cleared away and felt it was OK to park there. I, however, was not happy about this and after some discussion, gave in and we walked along the port but after about 5 minutes, I had to say that I was not comfortable leaving the van where it was, couldn’t relax and felt that I was going to see it being towed away on the back of a tow truck. This fear was enhanced by the fact that all along the road there were no waiting signs and pictures of vehicles being towed away!
Back to Plan A, we drove to Pointe Rouge, parked in a safe place and caught the boat directly into Marseille. It was a very pleasant boat ride and great to see large sailing boats racing each other into the harbour, also a fabulous way to see the Vieux Port of Marseille and the Fort St Jean at the entrance to the Port.
We walked along to Fort St Jean where you get fabulous views of Marseille and the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde, the domed 19th century Romano-Byzantine basilica that sits on Marseille’s highest point. Next to the Fort is the Musee des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Mediterranee’s, a new 40,000 square metre state-of-the-art museum that is reached by crossing a bridge from the fort (Alan and Gloria, you would love it!). In the background can be seen the Cathedrale de la Major that stands between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ ports.
We continued to Le Panier, an area dubbed Marseille’s Montmartre with its sloping narrow streets before heading back to Vieux Port to catch the boat back to Pointe Rouge.
We took the very scenic mountainous road to Cassis and are now at a campsite in Cassis ready to explore the Calanques and Cassis over the next few days.
We have not seen any other motorhomes or campervans travelling around today until we reached the campsite so it would appear Marseille is a motorhome free zone. We suggest to park at Pointe Rouge and get the La Navette into Marseille €5 each way per person.