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Trip Report Marseille and Montpellier, happy surprises, who knew?! all served up with Provence --another trip report in pictures

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In November of 2011 I posted a questions--"Marseille--how bad is it really?" Contrary to the responses I was expecting, I got lots of encouragement to give up my long-held biases and book the trip my DH was suggesting we take there in February of 2012. Well we never made that trip but we finally got around to investigating Marseille on a trip we took this past July. We spent 3 days in Marseille then 2 in La Ciotat, 3 in Fontaine de Vaucluse (a place we'd been warned against on this forum but that we enjoyed a lot, especially because of the lovely place we stayed--La Poete), 3 in St. Remy and 3 in Montpellier before flying home from there. Aside from the heat, it was a terrific trip and exploring Marseille and Montpellier, two French cities we'd not thought much about before, was a big part of the reason we enjoyed it so much. Our only disappointment was that the Provence lavender which had been the primary reason for the trip as a whole was not in full bloom while we were there in spite of our best laid plans due to a late winter and cold Spring, but we did get to see some and our delight in our new discoveries of MRS and MPL made up for that small quibble.

So here are pictures from our wonderful trip, captioned, I hope, to provide sufficient information to provide some feel for the places we saw and the food we ate. Unfortunately I must add an apology: Somehow Picasa just won't let me intersperse pix from an album shot with my camera and another shot with DH (Val)'s camera so I am forced to keep our pictures separate--either in totally separate albums for the same city/area or at best in a single album but with all of Val's first followed by all of mine (or vice versa). Unfortunately this doesn't make for a smooth flow of information, e.g. I can't show you Val's pix of the exterior and interior of a restaurant followed immediately by my pix of the food we ate in the place. Rather you'll have to see Val's restaurant pix from one city followed by his pix of another and another and later in the series pick up my pix of the food. Certainly not ideal. Nor is it good to have the amount of duplication this approach seems to force, but the duplication seems to be at least somewhat necessary to provide context for some of the pix that follow. Pretty tedious stuff to read about. I can't tell you how tedious it is to sort through over and over, but enough whining and crying. Without further kvetsching, I present for your viewing pleasure pix from our trip to Marseille, Provence, and Montpellier. I hope you will enjoy them and that they will add to the slowly growing cache of information on this forum about these two relatively unsung places.

Marseille--a city to be explored and enjoyed not feared or shunned

Provence--a fabulous area of France we have long loved and hope to return to again and again

Montpellier--an unexpected treat

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