IES Abroad being the awesome institution that it is (thanks again for letting me write), tends to have some pretty cool excursions for a lot of its programs. IES Abroad: Nice edition is no different, so last week I found myself getting to miss class to go to an awesome city like Marseille. I could talk about the diversity there, the awesome food, the beautiful old port and surrounding architecture, but far and away my favorite part of the excursion was a day trip out to Marseille’s islands.
At one point the Frioul Islands were a popular stopover for sailors, and were even used as quarantine islands during peak plague years. Luckily for us, all the disease left the island at some point, leaving behind some interesting ruins (Fort de Rattoneau) and some absolutely spectacular views.
Let’s just admit this right off the bat: hiking is hard. Even if you’re in triathlete shape, it’s probably still not the easiest. When you’re in just regular human shape, hiking up a hill is rarely accompanied by a warm relaxed feeling along the way. Gravity literally never loses, ever. If you can name one time gravity has lost a battle, I’ll eat my own shoe…probably not actually. But honestly, gravity is never a piece of cake, and it’s just as strong in Marseille.
If you’ve been following along this semester, you’re probably seeing a theme. I’m a firm believer that nothing worth doing will ever come easy to you. The views at the top of the Frioul Islands were no different. It’s not a super long hike, we’re talking maybe 45 minutes from the very bottom to the top. But let me tell you, when you get to the top the views are something to behold. When it was all said and done, everyone that made the walk up agreed that the views were worth it, tenfold.
Up on the top of the ridge you can see in all directions, a full 360 degrees of Mediterranean beauty. From the old port and old town of Marseille, to the Mucem museum, the new part of town, the other surrounding islands and the Notre Dame perched above it all, Marseille is something to behold. We walked around the rocks and ridges for a while, snapped pictures, and stopped to just soak up the views.
So thanks to IES Abroad Nice for an amazing trip to Marseille (not sponsored) and for reminding me that a little work can have a huge payoff.
Until next time,