Definitely an unexpected and happy day.
Since it was Saturday and all the archives were closed, Marie and I decided to have a day to be tourists. When in Marseille, you need to hit up the beach, but other than that we didn't have much planned. Until . . . we found out that the island Chateau D’If was the setting for the Count of Monte Cristo. Sounded kind of interesting, and I was basically down to do anything fun.
We left our apartment and went to buy the tickets for the boat to get us to the island. As we stood at the ticket booth, we saw that for a few more euros, you could go to another island too. Yep…that is exactly all the information I knew about the island at that point. Marie and I looked at each other, with raised shoulders and said “Why not!”
The boat ride was so wild and fun. We stood at the front and it was just so peaceful to feel the rush of the wind and the rocking motion from the waves. The water was so blue and all I secretly wanted to do was jump in and be part of it. The wind was so strong, that our hair was on its own personal roller coaster. Marie had never been on a boat ride before, so half the fun was watching her wide-eyed with a huge smile, just singing, “I AM SO HAPPY!”
Did I mention it was WINDY?
We arrived on the island and explored the chateau, which was built in the 1500’s to guard the port of Marseilles, since it was one of the most important ports to France at the time. Eventually it was transformed into a prison for POW's. I found this little room and thought, oh my goodness, if I had to live here without windows in this dark hole that smelled like pee, I would die. I thought I was feeling some major compassion, but then I found out that that was the only room of that size in the entire chateau. All the prisoners lived in rooms bigger than some of our hotel rooms.
You always gotta rock the awkward sitting pictures you take.
I thought it was time to really get ready for my career in theater!
The view was incredible from the top. The weather was perfect. Needless to say, my eyes were smiling. Then, we got on this boat headed to the second island. I didn’t even know the name of it. As we arrived, we saw a few shops on the shore and a sign that said there was a beach on the other side of the island.
Very casually, Marie and I bought sandwiches for lunch and thought that we would walk over to this bridge to eat it and look out at the water. As we got up to the bridge, our eyes popped out of our heads. We could see nothing but beautiful all around us. I am not sure how to describe it. It looked so much like I imagine Greece might look. White rock, green trees, pure blue crystal clear water . . .
This boat was full of 60-70 year old couples partying. Best people-watching of the trip.
Our lunch spot
We found a way cool rock on the edge of the cliff to eat lunch on, alongside some seagulls. We then explored the entire island. Everywhere you looked was AMAZING. BREATHTAKING. I kept thinking I had entered the Twilight Zone. I didn’t even know how we got here, but I was so grateful that we did because it was just this quiet little private island. The only sound we could hear was the Seagulls. It was a great change from all of the loud cities we have been navigating our way through.
These are my trying to be like a seagull pictures:
And then we swam. Best beach so far. It was like this little clear oasis. We just swam and swam and swam. I literally couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing.