Temperatures hit 32⁰C in Marseille today. Okay, this is positively cool compared to the 44⁰C some parts of Europe have experienced this summer, and it is not as hot as Italy was yesterday, but today we have had to WALK in the SUN, and this does not make for good family relations.
It’s Royal Caribbean’s fault. They wanted to charge €60 for a shuttle for a family of 4 to the old dock. We refused to pay such an outrageous price, so instead we discovered on Facebook a free shuttle bus five minutes’ walk away. Upon leaving the terminal building you follow a thick green line until it reaches an air conditioned bus. But there is no shade and we had 5 minutes of moaning from both children.
We did make it and were dropped at the port entrance building. From here it was another trek to the old harbour. We followed the sea and ended up at the top end by a ‘Minecraft’ like building. No problem, at least there was air conditioning inside and we were able to get up onto the roof and cross a bridge to a fort. But this fort had little shade. We escaped down into the harbour and ducked along the parade of restaurants lining the front. This is where it all kicked off. The kids were hot and tired. My husband was hot and thirsty and I was hot and feeling really really stressed as the. It was not a good combination. I t felt as if we would never reach end of the harbour. Luckily, after much bickering we found an ice cream shop and gained enough sugar to find the boat to the Chateau D’if. For any fans of Alexandre Dumas (he wrote the Three Musketeers) this Château was a prison and the setting of Dumas’ ‘Count of Monte Cristo.’ This prison is only accessible by boat and for a short time we were united as we ran from prison cell to prison cell, looking for secret passages and holes. But then we had to go back out in the sun!
On both the boat journey to and from the prison the kids argued the entire time about who was holding the giant packet of Doritos and who was eating more than the other. Then they both complained it was too hot to walk and they needed a drink, but not water, or the juice they had asked us to buy which they had decided they didn’t like. We tried to give them a chocolate bar each as a reward for having to walk back to the cruise port (we found a street by a Carrefour near the boat drop off that lead straight back to the Cruise Port Entrance), but they argued that one bar was bigger than the other and tasted better, even though they were both identical. Then my son said he needed the toilet, so we found one, only for him to say he had never said he needed the toilet! And this was all before we had to brave the five minute walk in the sun back to the cruise ship.
Boy was it wonderful to get back on board the cruise ship. We all collapsed in our windowless air conditioned cabin. We didn’t even notice how small and cramped it is. We were just all so glad to be away from the sun and the temper tantrum causing heat.