Marseille and I are going better. August 2012 I went there with my friends, someone broke into my car, we were at the beach, don’t need to explain they stole everything: wallet, keys, profesional cellphone, glasses, ID. Marseille I don’t really like you.
Time passes by, I met several people from Marseille in Toronto, they told me about their city and they almost gave me the envy to visit the city… Last december I met my friend Alexis there for Christmas time., I wrote about it in the blog. At this time I decided I want to visit the city for good. I got the occasion in August, I met my ex roommate from Toronto, she grew up in Marseille, she probably already saw her on my Snapchat last year, and Fernanda one of my volunteer with Apérochic.
However I loved my visit for Christmas, I love Christmas period, I really appreciated Marseille summer version ! Having the sea so closed is so good.
First stop: Vallon des Auffes.
10 minutes driving from the Vieux Port it’s a small haven of peace, you go there walking by small narrow stairs, after few stairs you arrive in a small harbour, out of time, far from downtown crowd. Colorful fronts, full patios with people enjoying time with family and friends, water is so clear, it offers us a beautiful a palette of blue, boats waiting for their owners to let’s seduce the Mediterrannee waves.
Walking under the viaduct you will see a beautiful show, water as far as your eyes can see, boulders on the edge, very peaceful. Boats are waiting like friends, side by side (Ok I’m not only composing people lives in the airport, I also do that with objects ^^) that the time comes to go. In the 19th century rope manufacturers worked there, this period gave the name of the place: Auffes comes from alfa (auffo in provençal), which is a granular used to build rope.
Walking by the pretty quick but you can chill, have a picnic, chat, take good pictures, take a fresh air, swim … I continue or you get it ? ^^ It’s really nice.
Second stop: La Porte de l’Orient.
The view is incredible when you just walked by the huge door erected in tribute of Orient soldiers. Since 1927 the monument proudly stand by on the famous Corniche and represents land forces and air force, female sculptures symbolize heroism. It’s such a nice place, you can seat, look far away, someone told me the sunset is amazing !
Thirst stop: Le Vieux Port.
It’s the place you have to visit in Marseille, very busy winter or summer, day or night, the big wheel thrones in the middle. From there you will see the basilica de Notre Dame de la Garde so important from people of Marseille, and you could go anywhere: on the Canebière, at the Mucem or to the Panier’s area. Bars and restaurants circle the port, streets vendors walk by, boats leave to the Frioul island or for a sea trip.
Fourth stop: The big soap works.
On the advices of one my colleague from Valence we went to this shop where you can make you own Marseille soap ! We couldn’t do it since we didn’t book it in advance but we saw others people doing it, you do your own soap with staff’s help, you can also write what you want on it, I love this idea ! Don’t worry even if we didn’t make anything ourselves we found things to buy 😉
La grande savonnerie – 36 Grand’ Rue 13000 Marseille
Fifth stop: boat trip.
As far as I was waiting for this activity as far I was scared, if you follow me on Snapchat (FringintoBlog) you felt it ;). It was something new from me, I don’t any memories of being on this kind of small boat. I didn’t really appreciate this amazing experience since I didn’t feel safe. It was really nice, I even took some pictures but I hope to try it again under other conditions. We navigated until Sugiton’s calanque to stop and picnic on the boat. Sun starting to go down, was really pretty. We finally came back closed by the Vieux Port to watch the sunset. It was as impressive as quick ( Ok I spend 80% not moving, scared so I didn’t apreciate the show.)
Rental boat: Zeboat.
After a sunny day we put the clock early, we drove to Hyères and overall Porquerolles Island.
Sixth stop: Porquerolles Island.
We leave Marseille to Var department. I heard about Porquerolles Islands for so long I was so excited to finally going there. Such a discover ! Awww clear water I felt in love. Crossing by boat will take 20 minutes (much bigger than the day before I felt safer 😉 ). When we get out of the boat the welcome office is still very commercial, an island map for 3€ no thanks ! Signs and a little bit of sense of direction will be enough ! First stop we picnic at plage d’Argent (Silver beach), a little bit busy so many tourists à this time, but nothing can change how magical this place is !
Then we decided to follow our sense of orientation to cross the island and discover what it hides on the other side. We arrived at Brégançonnet’s calanque: such a show, I love how big is the nature, everything it has to offer.
I really learnt to love Marseille area during this weekend, far from the ideas I used to have.
Do you know the area ? Do you have any advices for my next visit ?
Des bisous les petits loups.