Our tour de France began in Marseille. Unlike the glamorous Paris, Marseille is quaint and humble. As we were arriving on the cab, our driver kept pointing out parts of the city we should see. Not speaking one word of English didn’t stop him from enthusiastically introducing his city to us. As we drove closer to our hotel in Vieux-Port de Marseille, the area became more and more lively. Bars were packed with people enjoying the oceanic view. Crowds gathered around an impressive line of flee-market-style specialty stands.
After we dropped off our luggage, we left the room to go explore. The first attraction we saw was the Port-vieux Pavilion mirrored canopy. Under the giant mirrored ceiling, happy couples and families took pictures of themselves looking up at their own reflections. There were buckets of soapy water set up for kids to blow gigantic bubbles with strings.
We walked through the line of specialty stands. Most of them sold local soap and products made with lavender. Others sold leather goods, jewelry, paintings, tea leaves, and baked goods. The quality of their products were not only decent but also very reasonable in price. If we thought ahead, it would have been the perfect place to pick up souvenirs.