Tag Archives: Marseille

Is Marseille really French…?

Is Marseille really French I wonder…? It’s such a brilliant hotchpotch of different styles, cultures and colours. Really it’s a bit of everything. Maybe the old greek Massalia-polis attitude lives on? Origins aren’t important, attitudes are. And Marseille has such a fantastic mixture of old and new. It’s a great city no doubt, and a couple of days work on the south coast of France never hurt anyone…

Here’s the old city, the Vieux Port, still looking good in spite of the stains on the mirror:

The basilica looks Moroccan, or a bit Eastern…., slightly Turkish…

 

The combination of old and new is very French, and in Marseille it’s done with great style. Here’s the single metal strip walkway bridge juxtaposed with the old port watch-tower.

 

The stunning Museum of the Mediterranean, closed on Tuesdays, because we are after all in France, so I couldn’t actually visit it…

 

 

 

There’s even a Brit influence in Marseille. Every French town has a covered market, but Marseille has a Norman Foster glossy mirrored-ceiling version.. Take a look, this is the right way up…

And so, back to the hotel for a very French breakfast with my traductrice, Jo Hair: animal artist extraordinary If you like a penguin, you’ll love this, check the link

(And finally, why did the Brits stick an “-s” on the end of Marseille…, Marseilles? Typical Brit sort of thing to do of course…)


Whistle-stop France

I have to say, I do love France, I do, I do, I DO. I love the life, the style, the lifestyle. I love the people, the countryside and the weather. The love fails me, however, as soon as I get to the traffic (taxi strikes all over the place!). And, although it shocks me slightly to say this, the bistrot/restau food can be a bit indifferent. Blimey, I had to pause and reconsider when I wrote that sentence, but its true!

Banks of the Saone

Lovers on the banks of the Saone

 

Admittedly a whistle-stop business tour isn’t the best way to see everything. But good for snippets. Lyon is just delightful. How a big city should be. Lovers on the banks of the rivers. Marseille has vibrant character – a pastis in the Vieux Port and you can still hear Pagnol in the background.

Vieux Port view

Vieux Port view

Masts in the water

Masts in the water

 

Nantes is my favourite. Especially here at Le Chateau de la Garnison, an idyllic escape from the big city, wonderful service, lovely country-chic rooms, and the best breakfast I’ve had for years. So idyllic we had to have a ping pong tournament (…) Here are the other two battling it out for second place.

Chateau de la Garnison

Chateau de la Garnison

Second and third place wiff waffers

Second and third place wiff waffers

And then Paris. Where the traffic doesn’t move until about midnight, and I had to lots of iPhone trickery to get some perception of speed… And the food is indifferent and expensive. Rip off wine and cheeky service.

A blur, after midnight.

A blur, after midnight.

Go taxi, go...., please go!

Go taxi, go…., please go!

 

Ooops, the Opera looks like it’s falling down. Get me back to Nantes, double quick!

 

Wobble photo

Wobble photo

 

Like France? Check out wine in the Dordogne or champagne in Champagne and if you’re not bothered by booze, how about scorpions in the Luberon!