20 minutes of sleep last night.
10 hours on 2 flights.
Reach the hotel, the room isn't ready.
Eyes burning, head spinning, body boiling.
But set foot in Marseille, the coastal town with the bottle-green sea, the harbour of white sailboats, the seaside shops and bars, the myriad inside cobblestoned streets lined with boutiques, cafés, markets, the skin-embracing sun and the hair-teasing breeze...
and everything's suddenly alright.
I watched 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' movie on the flight and this quote seems to fit perfectly:
"In the end, everything always turns out alright. If it's not alright, it's not the end yet."
So I guess I've reached the end.
I literally gasped and stopped my dad when we passed a café wit one whole wall open, with signs saying Brasserie, Crêperie and Glacier.
I couldn't resist.
When in France, you can't afford to worry about calories and fat content. You go for the ice cream, the pain au chocolat, the crêpe... whatever your heart desires. So I went in for 'un cornet de yaourt aux fruits rouges', while my family enjoyed cappuccinos, pain au chocolat and un cornet de straticella (vanilla ice cream ribboned with chocolate chips). The ice cream was delicious. I know what you're saying... you can get the same flavour at Inox in Mumbai. Well, it's not the same... even my mum said that this was just divine.
We sat outside, talked and completely unwound.
In fact, one thing I noticed and love here, is that almost nobody is skinny. Every person has their little tummy that shows that they spend their time loving and embracing the cuisine & their city and not toiling away on a treadmill. People here are natural, confident, happy.
It rubs off on you... you just feel so, so free and at ease. The sky is perfect, the people are relaxed and the whole place radiates summer.
Later we bought baguette sandwiches from a boulangerie run by a boy and his mum and we ate them on the steps leading up to the fort. We could see the boy's mum baking fresh bread.. it was delicious.
In the afternoon we were walking towards a cathedral and we stopped to buy some fruit.
I had the best nectarine I've ever tried and the peach was so soft, sweet and juicy.
My pink apple was crisp and cool and perfect as we walked up through the streets in the sunshine.