Over to Arles
We got up early and went for one last swim at the main beach in Cassis. It was so nice and there was plenty of people doing the same thing. On our walk back to the hotel the police pulled us up and told me to put a shirt on and Summer had to cover her swimmers, she only had a towel around her waist. The French police just love us.
We had breakfast and a shower then checked out at 1200. We drove West to Marseille, it was 35 degrees outside, according to the car. It is a big city and our friends at the camp site were correct, not as nice as Cassis. Made our way to the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde. This huge church is high on a hill that looks over the harbour. It is a good walk up the hill. But once you have successfully completed the hill, climb a few flights of stairs and you are in.
It is really spectacular the views from here over the city and ocean. The shipping port is impressive, they have a one way entry and exit point for the dock.
On top of the church they have a gold statue of the Virgin Mary holding jesus and it looks out over to harbour. We went inside the church, really nice and cool. There were wooden ships hanging up all over the place, they really have kept the sea theme going in there.
I don’t know what some people are thinking or are they just are thick?. This American family walked into the crypt (below the main church) and the father had no shirt on, he should have for everyone else’s and his own sake and what about a little respect in the church? They were talking really loud, could they not see the ‘silence’ signs and realise everyone else was trying to be quite? People were shushing them and then a guard come over and told the father to put on a shirt and be quite or leave. In a polite French way of course, very amusing. Then they look at each other asking, what was his problem??? At least it wasn’t us getting in trouble this time. We spent a couple of hours walking around and then returned to the car to head for Arles.
It is actually not the name of the town we were recommended but it sits at the top of a large marsh area and so we thought it was the best we could find in the area. We take an exit off the freeway and there are heaps of hotels and fast food and the girls beg us for KFC. Well we haven’t had KFC since Sri Lanka and so we said ok. Summer asked if they had any Zinger and the guy at the counter said ‘heh?’ she then said anything spicy will be ok. I then asked for wifi and he again said ‘heh?’ so I said forget it. Summer then asked for a non-alcoholic mojito drink they were advertising on special and again he said ‘heh?’ but then managed to add it to out bill. A girl behind the counter said something to him and we heard the word wifi and he turned to her and laughed and we heard him say ‘no Francais’. When our tray came out with a zinger burger we realised we were being snobbed for not speaking French. So Summer grabs the tray and says ‘Merci’ and the guy laughed.
Summer got on the free wifi upstairs (luckily it didn’t have a password, we would never have gotten it) while I played tip with the girls in the huge play area. We decided to check into the Ibis. We wanted to have wifi assured to do some stuff and we got two double connecting rooms. Springs waist is now covered in a bad rash, we don’t think they are mossies and so we do a quick google doctor and it looks like scabbies. These are highly contagious so the rest of us would have them. We were really concerned, then summer phoned home, our travel health insurance, the nurse just said get her to a doctor and have it diagnosed keep all receipts to claim back. $200 excess for the phone call thank you very much. She then phoned her mum, Nanna, diagnosis over the phone from Doctor Nanna was shingles. We googled this and was relieved because it would more than likely be this. We still have to take Spring to the doctor tomorrow. We have run poor little spring into the ground so the girls had a movie night to relax.
First thing in the morning while the girls slept I went over the supermarket grabbed some coffee’s and yogurt (immune system building stuff) for breakfast. Returned had breakfast then Summer googled the doctor, it was in the old town 10 minutes from us. So off we raced no appointment just hoping we could drop in and get an appointment.
This proved harder than anticipated with all one way streets in the old town so I had to stop drop Summer and Spring off and then move the car on. Found a car park 10 minute walk from the old town and returned to were the doctor was. This was actually a speech therapist, she was a nice lady and very helpful. She had given Summer directions to the GP so I walked via her directions and eventually caught up with them. There was no vacancy for the 2 x GP at the medical clinic and so we walked back to the car and tried to find the hospital. The problem was the GPS in the car was taking us out of town very far and we thought this is not right and returned to the hotel to get on the Wifi and found a hospital 5 minutes from the hotel, but we couldn’t find it. We eventually went up some country road and found a back door entrance of the hospital.
I dropped summer and spring off at emergency and then had to find the car park. The French hospital experience was very much like home. We didn’t have wait that long and we were admitted to the pediatric section.
The reception, doctors and nurses were great. The language barrier was not too bad. The doctor was straight up I have seen this before ‘zona’ which is French for shingles. We were extremely relieved and happy it is only this and wait for a short while and we are all ok and straight over to the pharmacist to get the medication. Went back to the hotel and gave Spring the first of her doses and then watched another movie. We then headed into town to see the evening showing of the bull fight in the old arena. As soon as we entered the old town there were French police on every corner and we were told that we could not see ‘el toro’ tonight until the centre of town was opened up. The police man told us that the Chinese ambassador (and we eventually saw his massive entourage) were in the centre of town and so no people allowed. But we guessed they were getting a private showing and could do nothing.
We wandered around and took some photos.
We then drove around to find a pizza truck on the side of the road. We got two ‘grande’ pizzas, two soft drinks for the girls, two beers for me and a bottle of rose for Summer. It all cost only $28 Euro we then drove to a river side area and found seats inside a wooden boat to eat our dinner.