South of France: Day 1


Bright and early last Monday morning (5am to be exact), all 70 students piled on to a coach bus and headed to the train station because we were going to the SOUTH OF FRANCE! Each semester in the study abroad program, there is an educational field trip where you go to a different country for a week and it counts towards class credit (oh, if only it could be an educational field trip every week!), and this semester we explored a couple different cities in the south of France. The first city was Marseille! Marseille is one of the largest (second to Paris) and oldest cities in France, so there was lots and lots to explore!

Our tour guides for the week picked us up at the train station and didn’t waste any time! Before checking in at the hotel or unpacking or getting situated, we headed straight to the Palais Longchamp, which was built to celebrate the construction of a canal that brought water from a nearby river to the city of Marseille. So, of course it had a huge fountain in front of it with lots and lots of water! It was quite beautiful.



Then, we headed to the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde (Our Lady of the Guard), which was built in the 19th century on the highest natural point in Marseille. So, you could see her golden statue on top of the steeple from just about anywhere in Marseille! The inside of the basilica was decorated so beautifully and colorfully with mosaics. I can’t even imagine how long it must have taken to put every itty-bitty tile in its place! But, it was worth all the time put into it cause it was one of the most stunning basilicas I have seen.







^^ The view of Marseille from the top!

After the tour of the basilica, we headed to an all you can eat buffet! And we definitely stuffed our tummies until we thought we were going to burst. We had several hours to kill there because the weather surprised us with a monsoon. Literally. Some brave souls went and danced in the rain, but most of us decided to stay dry. And, then, out of nowhere…the rain cleared out and it turned into the most gorgeous day. If I hadn’t been there to witness the monsoon, I never would have believed it happened because of how beautifully the day ended.

The clear skies meant it was time for our walking tour! We wandered through all the little streets of Marseille and heard bits and pieces of the history of the town. It was so cute and quaint; I just couldn’t handle it!








^^There’s the basilica up there!

Marseille16 Marseille17

And last but not least, we finished off the day with some gelato…in the shape of a flower! Oh and I got the Speculoos flavor (which is the same flavor as Biscoff cookies…you know, the cookies Delta gives you on their flights) and it definitely gave my favorite flavor (cinnamon) a run for its money! So so so delicious.


That’s it for day 1 of our trip to the South of France…more to come soon!


  1. That’s a field trip like no other!!! Wow!

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