I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want to visit a lovely city in France that enjoys 300 days of sunshine per year. Who wouldn’t want to visit a lovely city in France that was founded more than 2,600 years ago, thereby making it the oldest city in the country? I’m talking about the beautiful Marseille. Unfortunately for me, I had never been there, but only heard about it from those who had or read about it. I had been to other parts of France, but that didn’t dampen my enthusiasm to see Marseille someday. Recently, while working in a different part of the country, I came upon a sudden opportunity to spend 24 hours there. However, my challenge at the time was finding a Marseille hotel room within a few minutes. Otherwise, I would have had to pass on that opportunity. I got right to work when I heard the news.
I tapped away on my phone, looking for an app that helped people find last-minute hotel rooms. I found one called HotelTonight and opened it. I liked the way it looked and I liked the way it worked. I searched for Marseille hotels and really liked the number of choices on display. The hotels were also of high-quality and the rates seemed extremely reasonable. I chose a hotel that looked like the right fit for me and prepared for the booking process, as it needed to be fast in order for me to make this happen. It wasn’t only fast, it was almost instant – within a few swipes, I had my room booked and confirmed. I had done it – I was on my way to Marseille for 24 hours of exploration. All I needed to do now was come up with a list of places to see while I was there.
At its core, Marseille is a port city and always has been. Today, there are old ports and new ports, but I started my day in the old one as that’s where more of the history is and where a lot of the activity remains. During the day, there are yachts and fun boats coming and going, but there are also quite a few fishermen who not only return with their catch but sell that catch right out of the sea. There are also quite a few entertainment choices in the area for those not looking to purchase seafood. All in all, this is a bustling, vibrant and lovely part of Marseille.
The Le Panier District, just to the north of the old port, has an interesting history of its own. This was the classic French town 100 years ago, but the area was nearly leveled during World War II. Many older buildings were rediscovered during reconstruction, and how the area is a mix of buildings either built or rebuilt since the war and buildings that were built as long ago as the 17th Century. It’s an interesting mix to say the least. I stopped for a cup of coffee at a cafe near all of this and appreciated how so much history could be on display in one visual perspective.
My next stop was the La Canebiere District, which brought to life a time in history when people gathered in the streets and traded their goods with each other in creative ways at times. I walked down the main road here and saw everything from fish to produce to just about anything else for sale. All of this was happening near more modern shopping centers and, fortunately for me, some restaurants. I was hungry and wanted lunch as soon as possible, and I found a place that served local fare. I found one and enjoyed an exquisite French lunch with a very nice glass of wine. It was the perfect break in what so far had been the perfect day.
I decided to end my day enjoying the view and the smell of the Mediterranean Sea. Not only is Marseille a port town, but it’s also a beach town. Traveling southward from the center of the city on a coastal path allows you to look at quite a few small and nearly inaccessible beaches that are nothing short of stunning in nature. I walked and walked, appreciating the beauty and only stopping when I saw a few shops open that likely sold gifts that I wanted to purchase for the important people in my life and mementos that I wanted for myself to commemorate this incredible day. I did what needed to be done and decided to head back into the city for dinner.
After I found a nice local restaurant near where I was staying, I drank a glass of wine while waiting for my dinner and thought about all that I had seen and done that day. I couldn’t believe that I had pulled all of this off, and I couldn’t believe that I had found an app as powerful as HotelTonight. Without it, I may not have found a Marseille hotel room quickly and therefore would not be here right now. I was looking forward to my dinner and a restful sleep in my comfortable hotel, and I was looking forward to traveling with HotelTonight in the future.