Today we woke in Marseille, France. Again, I woke way to early so I video chatted with the kids before they went to bed. I thought I’d take the chat from the hall, however, the connection was so good I decided to take them on a tour of the boat. So there I was , 630am phone held above my head walking through the promenade greeting ship staff, having kids wave back at them wave from across the world….all the while in pajamas.
After that call I knew I’d never get back to sleep so I figured I might as well hit the gym. It was kind of sweet running the treadmill while the ship pulled into Dock. Perhaps if I had a view like this everyday I’d be more inclined motivated to run. I have no idea what the motivation of Royal Caribbean was to put gigantic penguin statues outside the window.
By 11am we made it off the ship and into a taxi to Provence. Jean-Claude our taxi driver didn’t know English beyond a few words nor did he know enough Spanish. I was functioning on high school French. However he was Italian so between all the languages we managed enough to get to Provence and arrange a time to be picked up.
Languages seem to be a reoccurring theme today. While moseying around the Provence city center I was stopped twice and was questioned in French. Sorry but high school French was got me no where in either of these situations. Best I could do was smile and say, “sorry.” Later on the ship, I was with the sisters at an onboard shop looking at overpriced fine jewelry when approached by one of the shop clerks who happened to be from Brazil. I dont’ recall meeting him the previous day but he smiled at me and said, “I won’t speak Spanish to you today.” I had a good chuckle over that and we spoke for a while about my street encounters and perhaps I walk around with an “aloof” look on my face that people assume I must be local and if he speaks slow enough, I can understand his Spanish. However, our best conversation was in English talking about the upcoming Olympic games in Brazil and watching World Cup this summer.
I digress…so into Provence we went and were dropped off on an avenue with a beautiful large fountain on one side of the street and a Apple Store on the other. It was to be a day of shopping however it was lunchtime and most shops had closed for the afternoon. We were left to walk the avenue and the narrow side streets looking for an open door or just admiring the buildings and contemplating life “back in the day.”
We stopped for a meal in a chic little café and while there, it began to rain. I mean rain hard…with thunder. Trapped.
Nothing we could do but enjoy the café life and wait it out. After a bit, it let up enough that we made our way back to a department store to buy an umbrella and spend the next hour as a huddle of 3 under one umbrella. I think at that point, with the shops closed and all…I was done with Provence. Jean-Claude was a sight for sore eyes and we were out of there and back to the boat.
The evening was per usual….dinner, drinks, entertainment and walking around. Late that evening we went to an onboard club. It was much different from other cruise experiences as the crowd was much older as was the music. I think in the summer you get a better mixed crowd of young, old and children. This was clearly the season for the AARP crowd. We even went down to the underground club and even there, there appeared less than 25 people under 25. At that point I had more than enough cocktails and we called it a day. Back at the cabin, exhausted over evening laughter, I crawled up the ladder to the top berth (yes…as youngest I’m always in the top bunk) and went to sleep. Tomorrow will be another day.
Click here for Day 4