Le Grande Marseille

April 7, 2009

This is our last day here, and I am feeling good about that. Marseille is nice in thought. But away from the port, it somewhat reminds me of a clubby dirty little city. I thought it would be a bit more mellow, kind of a fisher mans town. But it is not. We can not even walk up out back street to our hotel after dark. It is a bit sketchy at times. Its full of either tourists, or below working class, and then very very poor people. The only middle ground is probably tourists like us.    

I am hoping everyone has heard about the horrible earth quake in Italy. I watched the video from a local news station and it brought tears to my eyes. It is so sad. I am sure we will hear more about it when we arrive there tomorrow. 

So we have this horrible pull out bed, the sofa kind. Evertime I turned over last night I woke myself up, Michael too. It is so loud. We have had some pretty bad luck with bedding situations. I have yet to see a real mattress while being here. So we woke up a bit before nine and headed out to grab some breakfast. Actually I thought it was later than it really ws so I was thinking it was lunch time. So then lunch it was.  img_1519A good crepe in the morning!
img_15211img_15242The beauty of port towns.img_15252

img_15311Strictly business-casual, according to Aimee.img_15321Some giant beautiful church we could see across the way.img_15351img_15481What?  Something besides fromage y pain?  Oui, a fresh cup of fruit juice.

After a long walk up one of the main boulevards of Marseille, (and another brief period of getting lost again!), we hopped on the bus out to see Le Corbusier’sRadiant City“.  When we got there, it was a ghost town!  I was like, is this the fate of “Le Grand’s” dream?
img_15511Took a little walk inside…One of his famous drawings of the human figure, illustrating the “golden ratio”.
img_15521Up to the 2nd floor…Look!  Some other tourists!  Apparently some other people were interested as well, a smug old bunch.img_15551Some dark hallways.img_1559While this “radiant city” is a model for urban living, and was far beyond its time…these hallways are horribly small.
img_1558This is what Aimee had to say about the low ceilings.img_1561They had a really cool book store there too, but they were on lunch break…Thanks for saving me 50 bucks.  In the “city”, there was a small art gallery, a fancy restaurant, a hotel, as well as some normal studios.  We took a look inside one of them…Looked a bit like a lot of the loft spaces popping up in downtowns all over the country.  There were also a couple of architect’s offices, too.  A bit weird, I think.  Living in the master’s shadow.  Maybe it’s a gimmick to get business?  Beats me.img_1562Primary colors and boxes.img_1563Circles, too.img_1567View from the shmancy restaurant, where we had another typical rude French waiter experience.  All we wanted was one of the 10 tables outside on the balcony, but alas, they were “reserved for the restaurant customers”, and we were only having drinks.  Never mind that 9 of those tables were empty.  Then we ordered 2 martinis.  Unfortunately, they had no clue what a dirty martini was…I guess martinis are a strictly American thing?  Instead we got about a shot’s worth of “martini” liquor for five bucks a piece and tasted like the crappy sour syrup you get with whisky sours.  When the bartender asked us if we wanted it “rouge” or “blanc”, the rude guy then had the nerve to answer for us!  So “blanc” it was.  Aimee was quite peeved,  I wasn’t really so surprised.  We got our payback by plopping ourselved down in the entrance to the restaurant and reading a book on hotel design for about 20 minutes while he shot us a couple sneers for being stupid Americans.img_1571The primary side.

And now back to town for street snacks!  See that brown fig-filled pastry in the top right?  It was so good…Like a moist crumb donut with fig filling. Mmm.

img_1574img_1576Pizza and some croquet monsuir.  And now for the sandwich of all sandwiches!  (Thanks for the idea, Noelle)img_1583img_1581“Merguez frites”  Is what this is.  You can get it at certain street vendors around Marseille.  (I guess the ones that are a bit more Greek-inspired)  Fries and spicy sausage on a baguette.  Salty goodness, and no sauce even necessary!  The sausages were so flavorful and the fries just topped it off.  I’m really going to miss this one back home.


Tonight we have been trying to stay away from anything italian since we want to save pizza and well pizza for cinque terre. So we had tanisien food tonight. It was close by, and it is very great price. Mike and I shared the meal, we ordered one lamb  cous cous and then a chick pea soup. img_1590img_1595img_15981Okay I am so tired. I am going to bed. I want to apologize for the crappy photos, this camera is very selctive on where it wants to focus at times. It is difficult, just like the french. The two were made for each other. 

We are off on a nine hour train ride to italy tomorrow. Oh I cant wait for people who smile and don’t walk away there their noses turned upwards at the sound of my american accent. France, you are beautiful and I love your cheese and wine, but your people are as stinky as your cheese at times. Oi I am yawning like crazy, goodnight my loves, take care, hope youa re all healthy and happy.


Love Michael and Aimee

On a side note I just saw a story about this on BBC news.  I love BBC news!  


5 Responses to “Le Grande Marseille”

  1. petite soeur Says:

    Alas, another homework break :] I hadn’t heard about the earthquake in Italy, were the areas you’re visiting affected by it!?
    I’m sure you are so excited to he heading off to Italy! Hopefully they are kinder there to you two!
    I guess the French are just a little pompous…but hey, now you know what you like/dislike about France!! How many people can say that!?
    Man, that sandwich looks so amazing!! The sausage is a good addition for sure…but who knew french fries could be so delicious inside bread!? I’m glad you found one :]
    I miss you and love you!

  2. planettrout Says:

    Tanisian food? Do you mean Tunsian, as in Tunis, the city in Algeria? When do ‘ya go for the Corsican dishes?


    Ps. Ask Moo about the interesting photos that Ally brought me…heh,heh

  3. planettrout Says:

    I can’t spell either…



  4. planettrout Says:

    Ah Michael,
    What that idiot waiter gave you was Vermouth. That’s what I used to wave over a glass of good Vodka, it is an ingredient that goes in the Martini mix…it tastes like dead grapes, YUK!! A company called Martini makes that crap no solid drinker would EVER let that drek past their lips…


  5. planettrout Says:

    Ah Michael,
    What that idiot waiter gave you was Vermouth. That’s what I used to wave over a glass of good Vodka, it is an ingredient that goes in the Martini mix…it tastes like dead grapes, YUK!!! A company called Martini makes that crap which no solid drinker would EVER let that drek past their lips…


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