Recently MSG’s own Jen Ellis ventured over to Marseille, bringing back a story about her experiences. Not only did she adventure around the city and enjoy the local culture but she also watched France take on South Africa at the Stade Velodrome.
We caught up with her when she returned, this is her postcard from Marseille:
“The buzz and excitement of this trip was palpable!
As a rugby fan watching two of the best teams in the world go head-to-head on Rugby World Cup soil was an opportunity not to be missed!
With Marseille being the second most populous city in France there was plenty for us to get our teeth stuck into to make this long weekend away feel like a true Mediterranean holiday. For November, the 20-degree sunshine was welcome and made strolling around the port delightful. There was a buzz about it, the ancient port. From the historic forts that line the entrance, a mirror covered market and street performance area to the bar’s restaurants, and crepe cafes that flow all the way around. There were plenty of opportunities to soak up the French culture. A walk up to the Notre Dame de la Garde which sits proudly overlooking the city is not one to be missed. The views across the city, across the tiled rooves, show off the tradition and beauty of this city. It was a short queue to visit inside this building but well worth it. The decoration delicate in design and finished with a flourish of gold was something to behold.
As we continued our stroll it was nice to see the mixture of rugby fans in their favoured team shirts. It really did feel like rugby was flowing through the city and was the life and soul of the atmosphere. The opportunity to sit and relax with a coffee in Le Panier district, with its eclectic, vibrant street art. Or eating freshly baked baguettes was a welcome break from the exploring. Highlights of which were Mucem – this was a great place to wander and take in some views, Cathedrale la Major with its beautiful architecture, and having a wander in the late evening when buildings shine in the spotlights.
The game was set for 21:00 on Saturday 12th November – this didn’t stop the party from starting early and the sound of La Marseillaise erupting from the Loch Ness pub (the hive of rugby fans, both French and South Africa). We took a 45-minute walk from the port to the stadium. The singing, buzz, and voices grew louder as we walked down Avenue de Pardo to the looming Orange Velodrome. Finding our seats and looking out into the vast expanse of seats and fans really did take my breath away. I was blown away by the sight before me and the view from our seats (I lost count of the steps!). I have a passion for the theatre and who knew that the build-up to a rugby match would be one of the most dramatic and spectacular shows I have seen? There was a plethora of special effects with flags, fireworks, pyros, heartbeats, and the light show was just stunning. I can say for certain if you have booked with MSG Tours for Rugby World Cup 2023 then you have certainly got a treat in store. The French really know how to make you feel welcome and how to make rugby the star of the show. If you have been thinking about booking…go for it.
Let’s get touring!"