Sunday, October 31, 2010

Joyeuse Toussaint! (+pictures)

The past few days in Marseille have gone by in a blur. A sometimes-rainy blur, I might add. Some highlights, not necessarily in order:
  • Exploring the Cours Julien neighborhood on my own while Mara rested at home (stupid bronchitis!), and window-shopping. I also picked up some souvenirs... :) I also bought the requisite tourist pair of sunglasses for €5 when it was sunny out, because of course I left my own at home.
  • Waking up and checking the clocks in confusion with Mara today as we realized that France does, in fact, observe Daylight Savings Time.
  •  Eating moules frites (mussels with fries) at Bar de la Marine, which is where Colin Firth proposes to the Portuguese girl in Love Actually. We had actually watched Love Actually the night before, so it was a dream come true to just waltz down the street and find ourselves in the movies! I also felt very accomplished, trying new seafood - mussels are weird-looking (like tiny, tiny brains in shells) but the sauce they were in went really well with fries.
  • Drinking tea and cookies at Teavora, just around the corner from Mara's place. The floors are made of sand and you sit on lovely puffy pillows in a dimly lit room strung with tapestries and pretty lights. I had a vanilla tea (delicious) and a macaron, speculoos cookie and mini muffin or something. Someone stop me, seriously. Unfortunately, someone STOLE my pink umbrella at Teavora, which mystifies me, because it was the only pink one among the umbrellas at the entrance. Clearly someone was jealous. So I had to buy a new one, which is not pink and not nearly as good. :(
  • Not really a highlight, but supporting Mara through some tough roommate troubles. They said some really rude things to her (while I was here, even), so today she and I went to explore a different neighborhood where she might be able to get her own studio.
  • A French couple next to me and Mara on the métro who looked sideways at us while we were speaking English. The woman said to the man, "Tu comprends quelque chose?" Do you understand any of that? I looked at her with a smile, in a silent gesture of camaraderie, to indicate that I understood her. Yet despite this, she still felt she could talk about us in front of our faces, and she even nodded at me before turning to her friend and whispering knowingly: "Chinoise..."
  • Kinder Bueno (always), more pain au chocolat (and yes, last time I did find it when I was scavenging - in fact, I ate two uggh), and navettes (a Marseillais specialty), below.
    Fichier:Navettes à la fleur d'oranger.JPG
     And now! Some real pictures at last. :D

    Me in front of the Palais Longchamp on my first day

    Mara and I at the manifestation

    Drinking a traditional pastis at Love Sushi

    Notre Dame de la Garde from about halfway up

    Art at N.D. de la Garde

    View from the top, facing roughly west (that's the Mediterranean!)

    Les assistantes américaines

    Moules frites
    At Bar de la Marine
    A better view of the bar's famous staircase


  1. I'm vicariously enjoying your stay in Marseilles. The crepe guy (I'll have to ask him his first name next weekend) taught me the correct way to pronounce Marseilles, but of course, I still had trouble saying it correctly. There was a female customer who said that Marseilles was beautiful, and thought that 2 years was not recent enough of a trip to have been in France. (In response to my question about when she had been there.) I love mussels--my friend (female) and I went digging for mussels in the SF Bay near Richmond when it was still safe to to eat fish from the Bay. I through it was gross that they spit out water when they were soaking in the bucket on the way back home. I guess that is normal, but I agree that they are strange looking creatures. Hope you are sleeping well, and I'm sorry Mara is having such a rough time with those dumb roommates. Hope she finds a better situation. Lots of love, Mom

  2. P.S. Love Actually is one of my favorite movies, and how great that you got to go to the restaurant where my favorite scene was shot!!

  3. wow! lookit your high french fashion! also i am impressed that you saw the place in love actually!!

  4. Alex!
    Love the pictures, you're so prettyful!