I have lost count of how many times my sister nagged at me during our week in the South of France, about how expensive everything is and how it was me who wanted to come here and spend all our money. Truth be told, I had envisioned Marseille and Nice as incredibly romantic and sophisticated cities brimming with culture, beaches and oozes charms – but sometimes reality is not quite the same.
I guess the rocky start to our trip was also to be blamed. Our train to Paris Gare de Nord had to return to Saint Pancras after a lengthy stop outside the Eurotunnel due to activists starting fires on the tracks on the French side. We were then locked into the confuse grid for a good few hours before realizing that there was no way we could board a train with all the other services cancelled and had to make a hasty retreat. Booking a flight out was also ridiculously pricey, with a direct flight to Marseille costing over 300 quid per person. In the end, we flew to Toulon and took a
Before I begin to continue ravaging on about the South of France, I just want to say that I adore Paris. It is one of my favourite cities in the world, up there with Berlin and Florence and the only city that I had voluntarily visited twice. However, it was inherently obvious that I had missed something as soon as I stepped out of the metro station in Marseille on my way to my Airbnb. The air was tinted with the stint of cat pee and graffiti covered every surface available and reachable, even the doors.
As we began to explore the city it became inherently clear that the smell of pee wasn’t just around where I was staying, but over the entire city. There was not a time when I was walking through the streets that I didn’t feel like it was an extremely sketchy place, even in the daytime I felt as though I was intruding in a city that did not welcome me. Never had I been to a place that failed to entice me so badly.
I used to say that no place on Earth is not worth visiting. Although I still stand by that today, I would like to amend that while no place is not worth visiting – some places are definitely not worth staying in.
This article was a contest submission by Yung Nam from Laugh Travel Eat.