Christmas in Marseille

We decided to take the train to Marseille on Christmas Day.  It was basically a choice between going on the holiday or not at all.  We're quite glad we ventured out as Marseille is actually quite a lovely city despite its gritty reputation.  We emerged from the train station and descended the steps in the morning sunshine.
The stairs themselves were decorated with classic sculptures.
I liked these little cherubs lounging around and eating grapes.
A rather svelte Santa made an appearance outside of a local thrift shop.
We took some time to admire Marseille's architectural style.
A Christmas Market (closed for the day) featured a Ferris Wheel.
We soon reached Marseille's famous port and took a stroll along the blue waters.
Is that a serpent emerging from the water?'s just a spot to tie off your yacht.
Some boats were in dry dock for the winter season.
We passed the town hall and veered inland.
We walked through a deserted square and began our ascent toward Le Panier.
It was a healthy climb past white-washed churches...
...sleepy squares...
...and chilled out cats.
We wound our way through the streets of Le Panier past Le Musée de la Vieille Charité
We discovered whimsical wood carvings dotted along a quiet residential street.
Some of the facades in the area had seen better days.
We were quite impressed by the stripes of the Cathédrale de Nouvelle Major.
We approached the ornate and bright red door.
Inside, the high domes were adorned with regional flags.
A set of horns protruded from an alcove above.
I like this pirate-inspired murale across the street from the cathedral.
We passed a more modest church.
...and a statue of a man playing with two bear cubs.
We spotted another of Marseille's iconic churches on the hill on the far side of the port.
We descended back toward the waterfront.
We decided to eat a Christmas lunch outside.  The weather was reasonably warm and the sun was shining.  We initially tried Brasserie la Terrasse but after waiting 15 minutes without so much as a menu in front of us, we decided to move on.
We settled on Le Collins.
The patio tables were open to the sky with views of the apartment building above.
We dined on ravioli with chunky tomato sauce...
...and steak and fries.
The couple at the neighboring table even offered us a coffee.  What a nice holiday gesture!
We took winding walk with a few purposeful detours on the way back to the train station including a jaunt through the Arab Markets.
I liked this small fountain with three or four muses holding a huge weight on their heads.
We passed a statue of a pair of giraffes which made me smile.
A small market offered children a chance to pick a duck and win a prize.
It was soon time to catch our train back to Aix-en-Provence.  We looked up the daunting set of stairs toward the station.
We stopped to admire our favorite cherubs one last time before leaving Marseille behind.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Christmas in Marseille
Christmas in Marseille
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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