From Narbonne I'm riding straight to Marseilles.
If you - like me - live north of the Alps you're dreaming the same dream every year after a looong winter: The dream of the warm south. But Marseilles is not the place to make your dream come true in March. Icy winds from the still snowy Alps blow down the Rhône-Valley and then blast through Marseilles with its narrow roads.
Marseilles was founded by Greek sailors over 2000 years ago as trading port. This town smells like history, salty air and the promise of the nearby Orient. Marseilles is France's gateway to Northern Africa.
Riding through the streets my fingers feel like fish fingers you've taken out of the deep freezer only 2 minutes ago. I need a place to warm up. But quickly!
Right at the old port there's the Restaurant Le Miraramar. From what I've heard, a good place to enjoy the Bouillabaisse, the famous Marseillan fish soup. Well, a hot soup would be perfect....
I'm surprised to be welcomed by the cook himself, Christian Bouffa. What I learned lateron is that he is a disciple of French cook legend Paul Bocuse.
Anyway, after ordering the soup, the waiter arrives with something not really beeing similar to a soup. "This is just a starter to kill time till the soup is ready". He speaks of course French and my French is a bit ... rotten. The first misunderstanding is on its way. His next question is not: "What do you prefer to eat, chicken and shrimps or (in the background) Manchego-cheese with truffles?"
The question was:"What do you prefer to eat first? Chicken or Manchego?" Ok, first chicken, then Manchego. But... what about the soup?
He arrives again and explaines that they usually serve the soup in six courses.
Can you imagine? Six times this plate? I ask for a shortcut resulting in four courses.
Then a specially trained dessert-waitress shows up to ask me about my wish for a my sweet tooth. I go for something small (Mousse au chocolat with coconutcream) after the Manchego-chicken-four-courses-soup only to find out that this again is only the starter.
Here's the dessert-menu then. Not to forget the nasty things left from the wineglass.
From the restaurant I go straight back to my room in a small hotel. It's about 4 in the afternoon. I decide to take a little nap and to get rid of the fear my stomach may explode. I wake the next day at 10 in the morning. Setting off is postponed for one day. But who cares? I have nine month