After exploring the Vieux Port, we drove up to the basilica that overlooks Marseille, Notre Dame de la Garde, to take in the view.
There were a LOT of stairs. In retrospect ballet flats were probably not the best choice of shoes, but it was all worth it for the church itself, which is beautiful, and the view, which I could have stayed and looked at all day.
|Photo credit: Didier Gourillon (Yes, his was better than any of the photos I took of the steeple.)|
|Interior of the upper church|
There are boats hanging from the ceiling in the upper church, representative of the protection that la bonne mère, as she is called by the locals, gives to sailors off the coast as well as to the entire city. The hill upon which the basilica rests was a medieval beacon site to guide ships sailing along the coast or into the port of Marseille.
|Candles in the lower church|
|View out the door|
|Vieux Port from above. This photo was edited but the water really is close to that blue in real life!|
|The landscape here is just breathtaking.|
The view includes the sight of the Frioul archipelago, which consists of four islands. The one with the castle, the closest one to the mainland, was the site of the imprisonment of Edmond Dantès, the protagonist of The Count of Monte Cristo.
After that, it was back down the hill to the car so we could set off to explore the calanques!