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My Russian Love affair
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Author:  wiz [ 13 Feb 2010 10:29 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Olga wrote:
Congratulation to both of you, Hanna and Yannis, on everything that I missed.

Wonderful photos! You both look great!

But Hanna of course is more beautiful than you, Yannis, I must say, that even the statues lost their heads. [tonque.gif]

I bet Hanna does her best to keep your head on your shoulders, Yannis : [lol.gif]


Did you expect any less from a Russian woman? [sarcastic.gif]

I know poor thing... always had a problem stopping my roving Greek eyes..... [lol.gif]
But as "Shadow" said on another thread, if the Menu is good at home why go looking for another one? [aferim.gif]

Talking about Shadow, I wonder what's happened to him?

He must be busy changing junior's nappies..........or he is kept on a chain at the other board! [hahaha.gif]

Author:  wiz [ 13 Feb 2010 11:39 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Marseille 7 - 10 Feb 2010


They say winter is not the best season of the year as it’s mostly cloudy, drizzle a lot or rain and sometimes is snowing and such conditions reflect on people’s attitude, making them feel a bit lethargic, downcast, miserable and unhappy. On the other hand a better weather and plenty of sunshine brings out the best on anybody’s personality, that’s why the travel industry always in its advertisements uses photos from the beach or sunny places to make you want to go on a holiday break.

Having just returned home, from our last short break in Athens, I felt that was not enough good break for my wife, who is working hard now, so when I found an email from our friendly airline, EasyJet with special offers, I went and had a look and there I discovered some very cheap fares to the South of France.

Last year we visited Nice during June so this time I choose Marseille, a port in the southwest of the country where I have been before and booked a couple of return tickets for both of us at the pricey sum of £102 GBP ($159 USD) for Sunday the 7th till Wednesday the 10th February.

Now as you must understand that is very cheap, so I could not resist such opportunity and as it happens my wife has to work on “St. Valentines Day” but she had accumulated 4 days off work to co-inside with those days, so a very good bargain all around!

I also booked a 3 star hotel via my usual site http://www.booking.com and to top it up I got another special offer from a parking company at Gatwick airport, APH for £11 when normally it’s around £30 for the same period, so on Sunday the 7 February bright and early at 6.30 AM, we set off to park our car at APH parking lot near the airport and then catch our flight to Marseille.


Flight was very pleasant and short, just 1 hour and 30 minutes and we landed in Marseille at the brand new terminal two, specially used by cheap airlines. Actually looking at the advertisement board I noticed that there are many flights to Marseille from all over Europe and especially from nearly every airport in the UK.

Immigration, as usual were ignorant of the EU regulations, though very polite, still I had to resort giving them the copy of the letter I have received from the French consulate in London which explains the regulation but “alas”, they could not read it as it is in English, so we wasted another 15-20 minutes till they found out that my wife has the right to travel freely in any EU country, so they let us in!

I am sure we always will have to have with us the copies of the letter and also the letter from the EU Parliament addressed to me together with the directive 2004/38/EU because these immigration people in all EU countries, never update themselves neither read any advice sent to them and us the travellers know more than they know about specific regulations!

I have previously mentioned on my travel report to Nice that France has an excellent and cheap transport system so coming out of the airport we took the bus, to the centre of the town, which terminates at the large railway terminal Saint Charles. Our hotel was 5 minutes walk from the station, just down the Road on the Rua de Athene’s.



The New Hotel Select is a 3 star, situated in the centre of the town and only 10 minutes walk down the road from the beautiful and very busy Marseille port, so as we arrived early, we dropped out carrier bags at the hotel and off we went towards the port for some nice sunshine and something to eat. On the way we found the top restaurant for Americans, MacDonald’s, but it’s very small and has nowhere to sit, so we went at the port and visited the French equivalent, which it’s in a very nice position, with plenty of space in 3 floors and also outside tables for the smokers.

That was music in my ears as I like sitting in the sun having something to eat and drink and then enjoy a nice coffee and smoke a cigarette. BTW smoking is not permitted in any shop or public place in France, so the tables outside this shop were a perfect place for me.

We spent the rest of the day strolling around the port, listening to music from some South American musician on the promenade, taking many photos, sitting in the sun and drinking coffee at the nice café “The Samaritans”, which is at the West corner of the port. Later my wife fancied some French fries so we went back to the French MacDonald’s again, had dinner there and then as it was night we walked slowly back to our hotel where we watched some TV program (dubbed in French language) and we went early to sleep.






To continue……..

Author:  wiz [ 13 Feb 2010 12:06 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

More photos of our first day in Marseille






















To continue....

Author:  wiz [ 14 Feb 2010 20:00 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Marseille - Monday 8 February 2010


As usual I am an early riser where my wife likes to stay longer in bed, so at around 7 AM, I got out of the room and went right opposite the Hotel where a local café was opened to have a coffee and a croissant!

After spending a couple of hours drinking coffee, watching the people going to work and also walking up and down the street to take some photos, I went back to the Hotel where I found my wife ready to go out.

Today we decided to take the little train tour, which goes from the Port through the coastal road towards the East part of the town and then climbs up to the top of the hill where the church “Notre Dame De La Guard” stands very imposing in the whole area of Marseille and the Provance.

On the route to the top, I have taken several photos and it will be better to let them speak for themselves instead of boring you with my comments.

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The English Saint-Vincent de Paul was build between 1855 and 1888

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Memorial for the Reistance

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The Grand Hotel on the Boulevard del la Liberation Canabiere

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Boulevard del la Liberation Canabiere

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Boulevard del la Liberation Canabiere

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Waiting for the Train Tour departure!

Author:  wiz [ 14 Feb 2010 20:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

The train Tour

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Author:  Olga [ 15 Feb 2010 00:32 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Nice photos!

Eels just ask to be on the plate yummy [tonque.gif]

I hope you said Marseille Indians hello from Russians living on the Indians land :lol:

Author:  Rasboinik [ 15 Feb 2010 05:03 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Yannis,
Beautiful photos (as usual).
[bravo.gif]

Looks like you both had a great time.[thumbs.gif]

Author:  wiz [ 15 Feb 2010 06:36 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Thank you Bonnie and Clyde.... and also Raffi.

Olga I bought, just the day before going to France, a Sony SDC-W215.... which it's easy to use.....and takes over 1000 of 12.1 MB pictures....... but takes me long time to resize them for posting here.

I have not tried 640 px yet but I will have a go now to see the quality of the pictures.

More picture coming for France..... it's only Monday. [sarcastic.gif]

Didn't bother to speak to the Russian or indian lot....... [lol.gif]

Author:  wiz [ 15 Feb 2010 21:16 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Notre-Dame de la Garde

From Wikipedia

Notre-Dame de la Garde is a basilica located in Marseille, France. This ornate Neo-Byzantine church is situated at the highest natural point in Marseille, a 162 m (532 ft) limestone outcrop on the south side of the Old Port. As well as being a major local landmark, it is the site of a popular annual pilgrimage every Assumption Day (August 15). Local inhabitants commonly refer to it as la bonne mère ("the good mother").

Commissioned by Saint Charles Eugene de Mazenod, then bishop of Marseille, and designed by the architect Jacques Henri Esperandieu (1829-1874), the church was built between 1853, when the foundation stone was laid on September 11, and 1864. "The basilica was built in the 19th century in the same style as the Cathedral of Sainte Marie Majeure on the opposite side of the port. "The church was built on the site of a 13th century chapel, also dedicated to Our Lady of the Watch, the traditional guardian of seafarers. It shared space atop the hill with a 16th-century fortification established for Francois I, built in 1525, whose own salamander badge is to be found within the present basilica's north porch.

The basilica is surmounted by a 60 m (197 ft) belfry topped with a huge statue of the Virgin and Child, visible across much of the city and for miles out at sea. Construction of the basilica took five years and required 170,000 tons of material, including 23 shiploads of marble and porphyry from Italy. The interior is decorated with inlaid marble, mosaics and murals. Many of the walls are covered with hundreds of ex-votos, including paintings, plaques, model boats, war medals and even football shirts given by players and supporters of Olympique de Marseille, the local football team.

From the esplanade, in front of the sanctuary, there is a most impressive view of Marseille and its site.

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The port of Marseille

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Marseille centre of the Town

Author:  wiz [ 18 Feb 2010 08:14 ]
Post subject:  Re: My Russian Love affair

Palais de Longchamp

In the afternoon and after having some lunch we decided to visit the Palais de Longchamp, so we got on the Metro and in a couple of stops we were there.


The "Palais de Longchamps" is a quiet public garden in the centre of Marseille. It dates from the Mid XIX Century, when Marseille erected a canal from the Durance River to downtown Marseille.

This imposing edifice was built on Longchamp plateau to commemorate the arrival of the Durance canal water in Marseille. It was such an event, that the public authorities decided to erect a gorgeous fountain.

The fountain is really beautiful and figures the Durance River surrounded by two statues symbolizing the wheat and the vine, symbols of prosperity.

The first stone of this monumental water tower was laid by the Duke of Orleans in 1839.

A masterly example of Second Empire architecture, it was designed by Espérandieu, joined together by a colonnade the 2 wings of the Palace house the Natural History and Fine Arts Museums. The works lasted 20 years.

Palais Longchamp offers the visitor pleasant strolls in its gardens with water jets and waterfalls. It's a good place to visit or have a picnic in this lovely public garden.































Time to go now and checking the map



Murial just outside the main entrance to Palais de Longcamp

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