As I had posted before, we visited Marseille during our trip to South of France. Having visited the Stade Velodrome, the next tourist attraction we went to was Notre Dame de la Garde. This visit provided a lovely view of Marseille, including of the Old Port of Marseille. We had planned to visit that next, but that was cancelled owing to what transpired when we returned to our car.
It was a warm sunny day when we visited the Notre Dame de la Garde. There was a fair climb up to this, as it is situated at the highest natural elevation in Marseille. But this does have the advantage of allowing a great view of the surrounding area.
There were many statues scattered around the basilica, and its high location provided a great vantage point to take in the beauty of the surrounding areas of Marseille, including of the Old Port, which we had wanted to visit. It was great that I had managed to bring my Panasonic 100-300mm lens, as it allowed me to get some great close-up shots of places a bit further away.
As would be expected in a Catholic basilica, there are many references to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as well as a place for people to light prayer (votive) candles for someone.
It is worth mentioning that we did notice that the street where we parked had signs of fragmented glass from smashed car windows – a sign that it is probably not safe to be parking along the roads. We had unfortunately left our puppy’s blue bag in the back of the car in full view.
So when we returned to our car, we noticed that one of the small windows had been smashed and that bag had been stolen – fortunately nothing else was missing. The thieves/perpetrators made away with a short dog lead, some poo bags and dog snacks, as well as a small dog coat, so clearly not the rich haul they were expecting.
This obviously was a distressing experience for all of us, and put a halt to further plans in Marseille. So we did not make it to the Old Port after all. We had to make the car safe, so that we could continue to enjoy the remainder of our holiday in France. Hence it was great that even at that late time of day (after 5pm), my wife could still find a company close by to where we were who could help.
The man fixed up the smashed window by patching with plastic film and duct tape, having vacuumed up all the broken glass shards. He had stayed beyond his normal working hours in order to help us out – signs that there are very nice and helpful people in France. And he did not even want payment for the work he did to help us; but we did insist that he take payment in the end, with our thanks. It served to show that though there are bad people around, there are also very good people who are willing to help.
We did learn a few lessons during this trip – do not tempt people by leaving things out in the open in the car, and don’t park where there are signs where cars have been broken into. We also learned to put the negative experiences behind us and continue to enjoy our holiday together, and be thankful for the helpful people around us. There may be unsavory characters in France, but there are also very nice helpful people in France as well, who go out of their way to help. We were very thankful for the help we received there.