Bright and early in the station:
My TGV experience was very different from my Eurostar one. The Eurostar was packed full of people. In the TGV train I had a second floor window seat, looking forward, and much less crowded train. On that trip we seemed to pass a lot more trains, which was always a surprise, you can feel the force of them going past for that two seconds. Both trains go 100+ MPH I believe. The seats were more comfortable on the TGV, but really the Eurostar ones weren’t bad. Also, the sights outside of the train were different. On the Eurostar, there were a few hills on the English side, and in France it was mostly flat fields with the occasional wind farm. On the TGV to Marseilles, it was much hillier, the train weaving in and out of hills and valleys. A few tiny towns pass by (as they did on the way to Paris) and if the windows weren’t as dirty as they are I would have better pictures. It’s been odd hearing the announcements in just French, and then realizing that they won’t be translated into English because I’m in France. I started to miss English very quickly…
My seat in the TGV:
Most of the trip I just listened to my iPod when I wanted something to keep me occupied. I thought about bringing a book, but I already had so much in my big backpack that I didn’t want to add one more thing to it. By the end of the trip I realized that I probably should’ve brought one.
For dinner, I walked around a little, eventually finding a shop that had baguettes. I ended up getting a sandwich with tuna, and some lettuce and tomato (those two came off when I had it). It was AMAZING. So good, that I went and got another. It was 3 Euro for one sandwich, but it was fantastic. I’m sure I’ve had better PB&Js, but this is up there in my top sandwiches ever list.
While I was trying to find some dinner, I saw a protest. Not sure what they were protesting, but it wasn’t a big group, and they didn’t look that intimidating, mostly because they had younger people, adults, and I even saw a little girl with her dad there. They were carrying some like torch-stick type things, and occasionally shooting off tiny fireworks. I wasn’t all that surprised, considering I was in France.
Protesters, not a good picture but it gives you the flavor:
Overall this first day was good. Marseilles wasn’t all that interesting to me, but I enjoyed the two train rides. I had a lot of time to think and just look at some interesting landscapes. But if I somehow make it back to Italy (other than the Rome trip I'm signed up for) I'll fly.