As part of my many excursions in the South of France, I got the opportunity to travel to Marseille this past weekend. At first, I wasn’t too much of a fan of it. But the picture below is enough to describe the overall glory of the city. One, it’s obviously big as f. This is the second largest city (population-wise) in France, and like any large city, there are lots of things. Luckily, though, it’s close to us and Marseille is incredibly popular because it’s known for having so much music and culture. It’s on the southern border of France, so who doesn’t really want to live a life on the sea? Plus, there are so many things to do that you can’t do all in one day.
In the middle of this picture, you can see a tiny island that is called Chateau d’If. It was constructed in 1524 and was built to be part of defense strategies. However, the citizens of Marseille didn’t like the castle when it was built because it represented the abuse of royal power (cool, huh?). Strangely enough though, the castle never defended anything from an attack, and actually became a prison for a bunch of Protestants after the revocation of the Edith of Nantes. And apparently, if you were a rich Protestant, you got upgraded to the top floor with some nice windows. How is that for a great vacation spot?
I took this picture on the top of this giant hill where Notre-Dame de la Garde is. If you look at a bunch of videos of Marseille, a lot of the panorama videos are taken from up here because you can see everything. Behind me (which you cannot see for obvious reasons), Notre-Dame de la Garde stands strong. It’s a huge church that has been recently renovated, and it’s called “La Bonne Mere” or “The Good Mother” because it protects the habitants of Marseille from the sea.
And now for the fun part. Since this city is on the southern border of France, you’re going to have to expect some cool Mediterranean fish while you’re here. Unlike the newly renovated Notre-Dame de la Garde, everything in Marseille is…well, to put it nicely, dirty. It’s not the cleanest city I would say, and even though everything is nice, it’s still dirty. Marseille is what you call a port city, so a lot of commerce is done through here. Every morning, there’s a fish market next to the sea, because what’s better than buying your fish with their eyes still in-tact?
Personally, my favorite part is looking at the squid. Scratch that. They’re not squid, because my friend’s host mom quickly corrected me to say that they were little octopi. Eh, same to me. And you can only imagine that almost every restaurant in this area was, well, seafood. Seafood! Literally the one thing I love the most about the south of France is that I can stuff my face with things I can’t eat back in the states due to my proximity to the ocean. I love love LOVE seafood with a passion.
And the people in Marseille take their fish seriously. Thankfully, I’m able to keep up.