Solo Traveler: Oh Well… Marseille
Old Port City — What a bummer!
After traveling so many places in the world, I have never felt so uncomfortable with any European city, and Marseille...would sadly be the first one...
Having spent a luxurious birthday and Christmas in Monaco, the next stop I planned to go was Marseille. Before departure, the concierge told me to be very careful since the place was quite disordered, and especially, I was traveling alone. Therefore, I dare not to take the train after hearing such comments about Marseille. I immediately booked a private driver. Soon we had arrived at Marseille. From a distance, I saw the beautiful port of Marseille and the towering Notre Dame. Yet once the driver drove into the downtown, I began to feel that something must have gone wrong...
Streets in Marseille were very similar to Paris, but the atmosphere was completely different. It was a feeling of gloominess and shabbiness, and the people there were of a kind of weird sense.
In regard to countless journeys, I had always been brave, but this was the very first time that I felt uneasy. Intuition suggested me that this was not a safe and comfortable environment so I couldn’t explore the place like I used to do in other cities.
Marseille is the second largest city in Paris and the largest port in the south, so the Old Port of Marseille is quite popular. Numerous boats harbored along the port and the sightseeing area next to it was full of restaurants. The chained-brand five-star hotel I stayed was of bunker-style and located on the hillside of the port. I first believed that the comfortable hotel could probably save the impression for Marseille, instead, the encounters completely blew my mind and totally deepened my antipathy.
After checking in my room, details showed the true level hidden under its gorges appearance. I was definitely startled at what I saw: The time seemed to be frozen since the ’70s. The phone was old and yellow, and the lampshade was so dusty that no one could bear. Furthermore, the seemingly fine roasted chicken from the room service turned out to be raw, cold, soar, and weird. Shocking as I was, wondering how come such standard appeared in a French five-star hotel? Without a doubt, I was pissed off and called for re-serving my dish. Finally, for God’s sake, this time the chicken was okay yet still unpalatable. Moreover, I soon discovered that the toilet was broken and could not be flushed!!! Even having my room changed, the experience with this hotel was so terrible that I was so convinced that “All glitters was not gold.” And the place should absolutely be marked on my blacklist!! I was so down with my first day in Marseille.
The next day, I cheered myself up trying the famous bouillabaisse. Before making the soup, the fish would be presented to the customer first. After the soup was served, I found the flavor to be strong and the ingredients plentiful. Nevertheless, there was just an indescribable crudeness and it didn’t fit my appetite. The texture of the fish tasted tasteless.... I was so disappointed with the unbalance of quantity and quality. Though I was no longer famished, the emptiness of an unpleasant experience still echoed inside my heart.
As for the sightseeing bus, although listening to the history of each stop was intriguing, the dilapidated buildings and streets were just not my style. So I ended up going nowhere.
Countless times had I traveled alone, this was the first time I encountered a bummer. It feels terrible to waste my time and money on such an unpleasant journey. However, life is just like a box of chocolate, you will never know what you are going to get. Knowing that these incidents are inevitable, I consider myself to be very lucky for all these years when traveling. Besides, obstacles will not extinguish my enthusiasm for exploring the world! As for Marseille, may I give you a bit of personal advice: If not necessary, then... you may skip the place 😉
房間裡的電話已經泛黃老舊，像70年代從未更新，燈罩也蠻髒的，從這些細節就可看出華麗外表下真正的水準。當天晚餐叫了 Room Service 烤雞， 看起來一切正常，殊不知我一切，裡面的肉竟然全是紅色！當下想說，不可能吧！法國五星級飯店會端出沒煮熟的肉！？！？於是我咬了一口 ... 天哪！那又酸又怪又冷的味道，徹底把我激怒 ！！！我氣得打去罵人，他們才送上一盤正常的肉 ...
第二天，換上全新的心情，打算來碗馬賽魚湯。店家會把他們用來煮湯的魚都拿給你看，魚湯很濃，料也很實在，只是不知為何，就是有種...粗糙感！喝得很不對味，魚肉的口感粗糙到好似已經放了很久，真的很不喜歡 “只有量沒有質” 的東西！是一種雖吃飽了，但並不享受飲食過程的空虛感。接著搭上觀光巴士，一路聽著每一站的歷史，是頗有趣，但看著破舊的建築與街道，絲毫沒有想下車的慾望，就是種磁場不合的感覺。
在無數次一個人旅行中，第一次踩到地雷，浪費時間浪費錢的感覺真不好受！不過，人生嘛，遇到些出乎意料的事，也在所難免。這麼多年來只碰過這一次，已經非常幸運了！而這絲毫不會影響我對於 “探索世界” 的熱情！關於馬賽，我的建議為：若沒什麼特別的事，那...就不用去囉 😉