Europe

Smart isn’t always the healthiest option…

I think I’m beginning to come to terms with the fact that I cant always eat the way I want to. I was so set on continuing my same eating habits as at home or in camp but its just not always possible on the road. In reality though, when I think about my routine back home and try to apply it here its becoming impossible. You don’t always have access to cook yourself, sometimes you’re traveling for hours on a bus, other times what you want is too expensive. Ya I could buy some fruit instead of the bag of chips for the train ride, order a salad at a restaurant instead of the burger and fries. And don’t get me wrong, I am doing this but there are times I want to say screw it — its so much easier to grab a premade sandwich from the convenient store or the burger is a lot cheaper than the pecan goat cheese salad at the pub. There are so many factors that come into play and I’m definitely trying to be conscious of food choices but even more conscious of money. This is a long trip and we want to keep it that way so we have to be smart which in turn isn’t always healthiest. My eating regime wasn’t the most realistic in camp though when I come to think about it. I woke up every morning and had a veggie omelette. At around lunch time I went to the gym for an hour and after the gym I had a big protein shake and for supper I basically ate veggies. I was strictly no carbs, no meat and no gluten diet. Try to do that out here and it makes me laugh. A tad frustrated too but like I said, I’m coming to terms with it lol.

All of that being said, we are doing pretty good money wise for food. We grab breakfast and lunch from the grocery store. A couple pieces of fruit, some granola bars for the backpack, cheese, some sushi for myself and a deli sandwich for Mark. Enough to get us through the day and then its been a lot of restaurant suppers, but only cause we have been moving around so much since we left. A few days here, a couple days there — groceries just don’t fit into that type of lifestyle. So we really wanted to find a place to settle down for a bit longer, somewhere less touristy (or not at all touristy) somewhere a bit warmer and maybe near an ocean. Which is what brought us to Marseille, the south of France. The whole point was to save money, relax, and take it easy as we have been go go go for 2 weeks. This is a much better option for us than the other plan we had which was London. Any of you who have been to London know what that means. Nothing but tourists, expensive hostels and Airbnb’s and pricey food. No thanks, we’ll pass for now. We’ve both been there anyways.

So the research we did on Marseille looked quite promising. It is a port city and has been a crossroad for immigration and trade since 600 BC. It is the second biggest city in France with a population of 855,000 in 2014 and the oldest city in the country sitting just along the Mediterranean which I was extremely excited about putting my feet into for the first time.

The Old Port is where all the fishermen bring in and sell their catch of the day. This port is the largest for commerce, freight and cruise ships. Walking through the city so far has been interesting. First off, we are definitely not in a touristy area. I feel weird pulling out my phone to take pictures and haven’t even attempted to take my camera anywhere yet. Second, this is a regional centre for culture. Its amazing to see all the cultures in one spot. All different types of people speaking French and their own languages as well. The streets are rich with history and its obvious it is an old city as every store front has a garage type door that pulls down to lock it up at night. It gives it somewhat of a creepy, unsafe feel at night when walking past them all. Although Marseilles used to be an unsafe place, and it may look a tad intimidating, it has since turned around into a safe community full of historical buildings and museums, 5 art galleries and numerous restaurants. Marseilles has been a birthplace and home for many famous poets and writers making it extremely important in the arts.

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The Old Port is something to see. A horseshoe shaped marina surrounded by restaurants, pubs and bars. The blue waters along the port are abundant in yachts and fishing boats. Waterfront cafes and endless seafood restaurants as well as a couple Irish and Scottish pubs of course. Every city must have at least one of those!

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The first couple of days have been relaxing. It was hard to find an English menu our first night so we ended up in the Irish pub for obvious reasons and decided to research other places another day — although we will be buying groceries for the week we are here. Finally got some laundry done and just enjoying the humid weather and warm air. Days here are going to be slow and calm, we are ready for a few of those. The woman we are staying with is extremely friendly and her friend staying here is a very kind, knowledgeable man, giving us tips and suggestions for our stay here. His first questions was “Why??? Why did you want to come to Marseilles?” Lol. At that moment we weren’t sure what the answer was. We plan on renting bikes to get around the city and explore the waterfront as well as a free walking tour and checking out the cathedral and museums. Au revoir folks. Love you all ā¤

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