What’s a saturday afternoon like in Marseille in Autumn?
There’s no Louvre, no Champs Élysées, and no Grand Palais; but there are Calanques (beautiful limestone formations that lead to turquoise blue water), The Mediterranean Sea, Old Sea Ports, and So much history starting with the first Greek settlement in 600 BC.
It’s very surprising to wake up on a saturday morning at the end of october and see a piercing blue sky and feel warm sunlight wafting in through the windows. I’m from California so you might think I’m used to that kind of thing, but after living for five years in Paris, an open blue sky and warm gentle breeze is something you only expect for a few great days in July.
So, with the sunshine on my face and my Napster app playing Renegades by X Ambassadors I hit the asphalt and went exploring.
First Stop: The Old Port (Le Vieux Port)
One of Marseille’s biggest tourist attractions, the Vieux Port served as the setting for Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. Since Marseille was the European Capital of Culture in 2013, a big Place was constucted alongside the harbor with a big mirror and the Vieux Port is now mostly pedestrian, providing prime seats to watch the beautiful boats and hear the seagulls up above.
Le Panier (The Basket)
Le Panier is one of the oldest parts of the city, and is for the reason chock-full of pictoresque winding narrow streets. You just want to get lost and wander them as the sun dwindles. These alleyways lead to spacious open plazas where you can sip a Ricard (Typical apératif drink created in Marseille in 1932 made of aniseed and liquorice.) or head over, like I did, for an exposition at La Vieille Charité former almshouse turned cultural center.
In the heart of the Joliette quarter (business district) are the newly renovated docks which now contain beautiful shops, restaurants, offices, and astonishing glass atriums for the roof. There is a central pathway which leads to different courtyard style sections and everywhere you look there is something to catch you eye; especially the interior architecture where fabrics and textiles intermingle over stone and brick.
French Do It Water find @ Grand Playground
And thats one Saturday afternoon in Marseille. This evening I’m going to the J’aime les Panoramas vernissage at the Mucem.
info here: Mucem