I was warned not to expect too much from Marseilles. The crowded, crime filled, rat infested city would have nothing to offer me. Perhaps as a result of keeping expectations low, I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

Though our hotel cost a little more than we usually spend, its a great little boutique one in the heart of the Vieux Port which normally goes for more than triple what we paid.

Though the smell hit me before we’d even left the Metro station, the old town fish market by our hotel is lively and undeniably French.

Though the beach at Anse des Catalans was crowded beyond anything I’ve experienced before, the atmosphere was friendly and the Mediterranean was a crisp relief from the beating rays. Plus, it was unreal being able to swim with Chateau D’If, the prison-castle-island made famous in The Count of Monte Cristo, visible just out to sea.

This is the first time I’ve seen French bakeries right next to Italian gelaterias. With a fresh apricot croissant and a three scooper, I think I’m in heaven.

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