Marseille and Millau, An Old City and A New Bridge
Marseilles you may ask – Why Marseilles? Maybe its that edgy seedy reputation that has some appeal that makes it fascinating and even more of a curiosity. Sure the city has a gritty side, after all it is an ancient port city, no nonsense and with purpose. I had a private guide and delved into France’s oldest city, dating from ancient Roman times and through to the 19th century of wide boulevards and grand homes. This is the Mediterranean however and unlike Paris it is a city of sunshine, gardens and balconies. We wandered through the old town with its cobble stone laneways, small houses and shops (which are rather unspoiled at the moment, as it is yet to be discovered) and down to the water front overlooking the ocean. This bustling port entry has seen millions of immigrants from afar who have made France their home, and added to the multicultural colour of this vibrant city.
Next I took a train from Marseille to Millau to view the magnificent Millau Viaduct. I stayed at a lovely old chateau set in the center of an ancient village, full of little bridges, laneways, parks and riverside walks. The Millau bridge is an amazing piece of modern architecture, often in Europe the focus is on the old, so its great to be excited by the new. The locals suggested I go to the Roman Aqueducts of old but I wanted to see the Millau viaduct and it didn’t disappoint. I spent hours looking at it from afar, below on a boat trip, and standing alongside it with locals who didn’t speak English, but it didn’t matter, I was amazed by this piece of work and muttered Très Bien in agreement.