Marseille is on the Mediterranean coast and the second largest city in France after Paris. It has a commercial port and it was the main trade port of the French Empire.

We decided to explore this place and took a bus from Aix.

A round trip cost us 7€.  Buses run every 20 minutes from Aix to Marseille.


aix to marssile

The bus from Aix dropped us at Gare Saint – Charles a main train station an intercity bus station in Marseille.

Train Station in Marseille

mcdonalds koisksThe Train Station was pretty big, it had some shopping stores and for the first time I spotted a McDonalds Kiosk.

It was pretty cool to order your food on a touch screen and you pay in the Kiosk and pick up in the McD store pick up area.

I haven’t seen something like this in the U.S.

This kind of kiosk would be useful in an airport or a metro station where people would like to pick up a meal real quick and run to catch a train or bus.


Next, we too a train to the Vieux Port. Cost 1.50€ per trip.

The port was just beautiful and lively with music and activities all over.

From Vieux port we took a bus to Notre-Dame De LA Garde, a catholic basilica in Marseille.

Golden mosaics, stained windows and loads of ex-voto decorated the inside of Notre Dame de la Garde.

You can use your train ticket for your bus to Notre-Dame De LA Garde and on the way down you have to buy a bus ticket (Cost – 1.70€).

Notre-Dame De LA Garde
Notre-Dame De LA Garde is the highest natural point in Marseille. The entry is free.

The view of the city and its port was beyond words to describe.

Make sure you have your camera to take a panorama view of the landscape and the seascape.

Notre-Dame De LA Garde


There are restaurants where you can have your meal with a view. You can easily spend an hour just gazing at the beauty of mother nature.

  • Travel Time from Aix to Gare Saint – Charles, Marseille : 25 mins.
  • Metro Train to Vieux Port – 2 mins.
  • Bus from Vieux Port to Notre-Dame De LA Garde – 15 mins.

Visit to the Chateau d’If

The Château d’If is a fortress (later a prison) located on the island of If, the smallest island in the Frioul archipelago situated in the Mediterranean Sea about a mile offshore in the Bay of Marseille in southeastern France. 

The isolated location and dangerous offshore currents of the Château d’If made it an ideal escape-proof prison, very much like the island of Alcatraz in California was in more modern times.

As was common practice in those days, prisoners were treated differently according to their class and wealth.

The poorest were placed at the bottom, being confined perhaps twenty or more to a cell in windowless dungeons under the castle.

However, the wealthiest inmates were able to pay for their own private cells (or pistoles) higher up, with windows, a garderobe and a fireplace.

We took a boat tour that starts from Vieux Port and drops us at Château d’If(takes 15 mins). We spend 45 mins on the island and the boat drops us back. The view of Marseille from Château d’If was just beautiful.

  • Our boat tour :
  • Boat Tour Ticket :14.50 €.
  • Total time : 1.5 hours.


Total Expenses  for the Trip

  • Bus Ticket – 7€.
  • Metro Ticket – 3€.
  • Boat Tour Ticket :14.50 €.
  • Bus from Vieux Port to Notre-Dame De LA Garde : Use your Metro Ticket and 1.70€ to get down to Vieux Port.
  • Total Expenditure – 26€

Here’s video from my roommate Alexis

She gave a good description and highlighted the entire trip in her video

World Through the Study Abroad Lens

I’m experiencing new culture, exploring new places, cities, food through this study abroad experience.

Every day I spend travelling and attending classes, I’m becoming a better person. I’m growing and learning. I think this will give me an opportunity to see world from a different perspective.

[blockquote cite=”Augustine of Hippo” type=”left”]The world is a book and those who do not travel read onlyone page.[/blockquote]


I think the mix of cultural experience from three different countries – India, America and France would help me see world, problems from different view.  and, only folks who go through this process of studying abroad can understand.

My classes have started  this week. Our company projects are decided along with my team.  Can’t wait to share my classroom experience.

Cultural Shock – Professor said “Take a break, have a smoke”. I couldn’t image that happening in within college campus in India.

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