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Bingo - Dinner at O'Bidul

The girls picked up coffee and croissants from the bakery. I wanted to catch up on the blog. My head cold made it hard to get up early or stay up late, but it did not keep me from walking.

We headed out to the African Market but stopped down the street from our apartment, where a couple of musicians had a crowd. They were playing jazz/Dixieland, and the crowd was loving it. We recognized the trumpet player from the evening before, one of the many street sounds of our neighborhood.

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We arrived in a neighborhood not far from O’Bidul, the restaurant we tried to visit last night. Off a large boulevard, we could see a side street that opened up to a modest square packed with stalls and shoppers. A small garbage truck was trying to squeeze through, stopping at stalls to pick up garbage. There were barely six inches on each side of the truck.

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Cindy hoped to find piles of spices as we had seen in Istanbul, but we found a traditional farmer’s market with vegetables and fruits. Nothing was too exciting beyond a few side vendors selling African handicrafts and soaps. A good market but not too exciting. We took the Metro to the Prado market, a large mixed market nearby. We emerged from the Metro to find vendors filling a massive sidewalk along a wide boulevard. Prado was a varied market with limited food and mostly cheap clothing, handbags, electronics, and kitchen wares. It was interesting but not too exciting. Cindy was pining over Istanbul.

Lunch called, but it was again a bit hard to find, either too expensive or full. Across the street, we found a small bakery with sandwiches. We took our sandwiches to one of the cafe tables on the sidewalk. Like the other side, this sidewalk was a good 40 feet wide. A man was just a few tables away, constructing bouquets from the flower buckets circling him. A woman was doing the same. A few vendors were along this side of the street, but mostly cafe tables.

At one table, a man sat working on a computer. A dog, which looked like a border collie cross, sat at his feet. Occasionally, the dog brought a toy for him to throw. Once the owner threw the toy, the dog watched, and until someone walked close, he immediately raced to get the toy and take it back to his bed, placed just behind the man arranging flowers.

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As we were leaving, I bent down to take a picture. The dog stood there looking at me, then began barking. I don’t think the dog wanted his photo taken.

We took a tram back to our apartment and then took a nap.

We headed out to O’Bidul, this time with reservations and plenty of time to dally. We walked into the La cathédrale de la Major. I sat in a pew and listened to the chanting while Cindy and Sally walked around and took pictures.

From there, we walked to Fort Saint-Jean, a bit cut off by a large highway, but a few long footbridge connects it to the rest of town. The fort is connected to the Museum of the Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean across another steel footbridge. The fort and museum are at the water’s edge and guard the mouth of the port. Across the water is another fort, Fort Saint-Nicolas. On the hill across the fort is Notre-Dame de la Garde with its gold-leafed Madonna on top. Marseille is a beautiful city.

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We finally arrived at O’Bidul and sat in the small dining room, maybe eight tables. There is only the chef, no wait staff, no one else. He has one seating each lunch and evening and previously didn’t require reservations, but now does.
Over this trip, we have had some uneven food. The worst hasn’t been bad but just a bit boring, and we found the food in the Dordogne to be good, but Marseille was fast becoming our food pick. This meal was probably the best of the trip, with several variants on port, and I had a very nice squid. We did not suffer; this was not our most expensive meal, about $85 for three, including a pitcher of wine. We couldn’t eat it all, although I did manage to make room for dessert.

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There was considerable uncertainty about getting home. It was late, and we were well-fed, but it was a pleasant night, and the city was friendly. The walk was lovely and surprisingly quiet. There is little evening traffic for a city of 1.8 million in the area, mostly motorbikes, buses, and pedestrians.

We made it home only to be faced with the lock. Was it handle down, turn the key, then pull the handle up? How many turns? We finally had an unlocked door without agreement on which combination was the key.

It was a great evening.

Posted by Deuxenvacances 21:24 Archived in France

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