July 5, 2013
Although many people from our group went traveling this weekend, a small group of us decided to stay in Marseille so we could explore more of the town and save money for our other travel weekends.
Friday was exhausting, but pretty amazing. Forrest had planned a kayaking trip in the nearby town of Cassis. We met early in the morning to catch the 9:15 bus from Marseille to Cassis. We had been to Cassis on one of our previous group outings, but none of us were 100% sure where to go to rent kayaks. One of our professors had given Forrest directions, though they weren’t all that helpful… “pass the Golfe Hotel… turn left… go through the park” etc. It was quite a hike from the small village to the calanques to find a boat rental shop. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m so glad my mother convinced me to bring my tennis shoes. We trekked for about an hour up the hills of Cassis and down into the rocky terrain before we found the kayaks.
The ten of us arrived at the shop at about 11:30 and found that a lady in her 50s or early 60s ran the shop out of her small house beside a marina. We got 2 three-person kayaks and 2 two-person kayaks for half a day (4 hours). Molly and I shared a kayak with our friend Morgan.
We were soon rowing off and ended up going to a small beach in between the calanques that we’d previously seen during our boat tour of Cassis. Paddling was quite a work out, but we were lucky because we were only given two paddles for our kayak, so someone in our boat always got to rest for a little bit before switching off the paddles. The water near the beach was some of the clearest and most beautiful blue water I’ve ever seen. I was surprised that like many beaches I’ve seen in Southern France, this beach was made up of small rocks - not sand. I’m so accustomed to our sandy beaches back home that anything else seems quite strange. We stayed at the beach for maybe an hour our less, going swimming in the freezing water too.
None of us had eaten any lunch, so we paddled back to the kayak rental after just three hours of kayaking because we were all so hungry and needed to eat. We hiked back to Cassis, got some food, and looked around the town a bit more before catching the 5:15 bus back to Marseille.
At 7:30 we met some of the Interact students down by the Vieux Port for a boat party. It was neat to see Marseille at sunset from the sea, but I was a little too tired from our kayaking and hiking trip to fully enjoy the experience. Because had been in a rush to get ready for the party as soon as we’d gotten back from Cassis, many of us hadn’t had a real dinner. Molly and I were so hungry after the boat party that we ended up going out for crepes and ice cream at 11:45.
It was a tiring day, but I’m glad I stayed in Marseille for the weekend instead of spending so much money to do the touristy things in Paris that I didn’t really want to do again. I’ve had much more fun learning about and experiencing the Mediterranean culture of Southern France.