If northern France is miss prim and proper, turning her nose up at nude shoulders and thighs, than the south of France is her slutty little sister. Here I am sporting a one peice, which I might add I thought a bit too riske for the States, and when I turn over, I realize I am the biggest prude on the beach. Eighty year old women were showing me up!
At first, I thought this person in front of me was just another white haired man in a speedo with a flabby chest, lying on his back. (Unfortunately, there were more than a few of those). But when she got up to let her hair down, it was affirmative - she was definitely somebody's grandmother. Maybe great grandmother even. I scanned the beach and not one but dozens of women her age were scattered, washed up on shore with nothing more than a scrap of underwear for bottoms. None of the men seemed to notice. In fact, I was the only one gawking.
Despite the unappetizing nudity, Marseille was a gorgeous place. You could lie on the beach for hours, swim in the crystal waters, jump off rocky cliffs, and eat lunch on other cliffs jutting right out above the sea. There were the most beautiful and delicious salads you could ever imagine with jambon ham, goat cheese or baby octopuses. The run along the sea was as refreshing and breath taking as the views that surrounded it and the people seemed much lighter and happier than those up north. There is music everywhere and artists of every kind creating in the streets. Hundreds of sail boats covered the old ports like ancient dust and the old cathedral atop the hill was visible from every point in the city.
I hadn't planned on visiting this southern part of France until July on my way to Italy, but after weeks of cold rain, I was desperate for a little sunshine. Three nights turned into five and I wondered if I would ever leave.