These Marseillaise make Marseillaise hymns, and Marseillaise vests and Marseilles soap for all the world.. - Mark Twain
Before Paris, Marseille was my first home base. I remember different reactions when i first saying i'm heading to this part of France. Most of them are surprised. Even years later when i told my friends that i first landed there, their eyebrows would rise up and ask "why?"
"If it meant to be, It will be"
I live by this principle almost the entire of my life. Therefore, when i have the opportunity to come to France to experience living abroad and continue my Master degree, i had nothing to lose.
By the end of 2010, i started to browse universities that has Fashion business major. One that caught my eyes were this particular new program but it's not in Paris or Nice, it's in Marseille.
Long story short, i gave a shot,got in, found a summer language course, a room and a ticket Jakarta - Nice. It was June 2011.
Marseille has its reputation - unfortunately, not always good ones. But i'm here to tell you, YOU are the only one that controls what the journey will be. Mine was filled with encounters, endless summer nights, panaché by the old port, broken french, and a lot of learning. About myself mostly, but also about life in general.
Growing up in a bubble, Marseille was a discovery for me (i played petanque in high heels...!) There, I met friends from Russia, Ukraine, Mexico, Venezuela, Poland, Austria, Italy, Spain, Korea, China, Taiwan and some of them become a very good friend. That chapter of my adulthood was so darling to me that i would go back again and again to that city. After all, what not to love ? From the Mediterranean breeze to the sauvage calanques (ah!) and soap of Marseille (have you heard that this soap is so miraculous it can clean almost all type of stains?)
Malmousque. If you just arrived in Marseille you probably wouldn’t know this creek. Now, I know for sure there is surely better creek or place to swim but this hidden creek charm me. A small pathway down the road, surrounded by wash out buildings and most of all, transparent water.
After a fresh swim, i’d love to grab a pizza at Chez Jeannot. A hidden small restaurant down the road, with small boats docking. It has this beautiful view that you will love and a good home made pizza.
Old City of Panier
I remember spending a lot of time in this neighborhood. One, to go to dentist (thanks to all the sweets i discover in France) and to visit a good friend that became like my godmother. To go here though, forget your high heels. The route includes a lot of steps ups and downs. There is no shortcut. If you’ve been to Naples, this area might remind you of the feel. Old buildings, not the most fashionable area but it's authentic. Here you will find small shops, some selling the veritable savon de Marseille, some just bric and brac. There is a lovely square as well to grab a drink (or food)
If you continue down the road, there is this beautiful Notre Dame de la Major. There is new hood where now you can grab drinks near by with a sea view.
MUCEM and Fort ST JEAN
Mucem, museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations is an exquisite building looks like it's made from metal lace. It has a permanent exhibition about the history and cross cultural of Mediterranean basin. Next to it is Fort Saint-Jean that was an entrance of the Vieux Port (old port)
Short trip to lavender Field
If you're visiting around end May - July and have a time, i would definitely recommend to drive to Valensole. The lavender field is that vast and so beautiful, it's just mind blowing. not to mention the lovely smell !
Here is my favorite list of beautiful places i found as i rediscover the area. If you are around, i would surely 100% recommend you to try these out. If you do, please tell me what you think about it !
TO EAT : Carlotta With, 84 Boulevard Vauban Marseille
Love it for the simplicity, creativity, and of course the taste. You can tell she is using only fresh ingredients. What impress me the most is how a simple food presented so well and tastes so delicious.
TO SLEEP : La Villa Majorelle, Pertuis
It's not in Marseille but i promise myself that i would sleep there whenever i go back to the region. Love it for the decoration, the price and the hospitality. The flower blooms everywhere, the room is spacious and very well decorated. You will immediately feel at ease.
TO SHOP : By Marie Store, 108 Rue Paradis Marseille
Love it for the selection and the decor. It has the nicest backyard - all in details.
TO DRINK : Noctilio, Vieux Port Marseille
Love it for the blond shirtless guy on board (AHAHAHA) Seriously though, the boat is at the entrance of the port next to Mucem and Fort St Jean. You can sip your drink far from the crowd and the noise.
I'm looking forward to my trip this summer to Marseille and will surely update my carnet d'adresse. Meanwhile, please buzz me with your stories if you're visiting the city soon enough.
Happy summer 2019 !