I went back looking for unanswered questions, and I think I only missed two.
Bjd wanted to know if the statues and sculptures were permanent. I would say that they are only temporary for the cultural year, simply based on the fact that they are all standing on bases just set on the pavement.
Bixa wanted to know if there were always so many yachts. The answer is yes, and that is true of every single port along the French Mediterrranean coast. In fact, there might even be more of them in the winter when they are not being used.
As a final send off, a new version of the Marcel Pagnol Marseille trilogy (Marius - Fanny - César) has just been filmed. Well, actually only the first two have been filmed so far and the third one will be filmed soon. Marius and Fanny were released simultaneously just last week.
If you are not familiar with the story, Marius and Fanny grew up together and clearly are madly in love with each other. But Marius has always dreamed of shipping out to see the world. Meanwhile old (age 50) rich widower Mr. Panisse has his sights set on Fanny to everybody's horror. After a night of passion, Marius jumps on the first boat leaving and heartbroken Fanny marries Mr. Panisse. Naturally she is carrying the child of Marius and everybody knows it. A few years later, Marius returns...
I have really enjoyed reading your fascinating report and looking at the wonderful photos. Marseilles is very appealing and I quite fancy a weekend there now. All my favourite cities , the ones I most enjoy visiting , are also by the coast so this makes Marseilles doubly interesting.
I really appreciated the different perspectives given of the MuCEM from Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde and then again when you travelled in the boat out across the bay. The inside of Notre Dame is stunning.
I wondered how easily one may be distracted driving through the tunnel of signs I think that you missed Tod's question, one that I am also interested in - did you have bouillabaisse and if so was it good ? Last but not least - Finally a self portrait
That's right -- I forgot to answer that question. No, I didn't have bouillabaisse this time, but I have had it in Marseille in the past. It is really not the season for it. In fact, I remember when I took a trip with a company group and we requested bouillabaisse as the set menu for the group lunch, they made it for us but they thought we were crazy because it was only mid September and still very warm.
Most of the traditional restaurants do however offer a simple fish bisque as a starter for people who want it.
Thank you for this trip report Kerouac2. We have only just returned from our 3 months trip to France and this report convinced us that we should see Marseille, which turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip. The only thing we missed out on was a visit to the Colanques(?) which seemed very beautiful as the winds were too strong, but we did manage a day trip to the closer Frioul islands and found the history there quite amazing.
I'll try to get back to all of the questions once I've managed to get to the end of the pictures.
On my way to my next destination, I got sidetracked by this little ferry boat. There was a sign saying that it made round trips to the outer sea wall and, more important, it was free. So what could I do but immediately jump in the boat?
The reason for the free ferry was to go and see an art installation set up there in relation of the European Capital of Culture year, of which Marseille is one of the two capitals (the other capital is Kosice, Slovakia which I suspect will not get quite as many visitors as Marseille) for 2013. If you want to start making plans for next year, the two capitals of culture for 2014 are Riga, Latvia and Umea, Sweden. So far cities have been selected up through 2016 because it takes several years of preparation.
Unfortunately, the Port Authority blocked us from moving for half an hour because a big ship was maneuvering in the channel, so we just sat there baking in the sun.
For entertainment, we had one of the cliché images of Marseille to admire -- young men diving off the breakwaters and seawalls into the port. If you see just about any movie that takes place in Marseille during the warm season, all the way back to the 1930's, you will always see some scenes of these guys jumping into the water over and over again. They have been doing it for hundreds of years.
We were almost under the MuCEM walkways, so there was that to look at as well.
Super pictures, Kerouac -- some wonderful, unexpected angles and views, too. I love seeing the contrast between the whipped up waves and the calm water inside the breakwater. Also, you really captured the feel of Marseille, with its enduring elegance never overpowering the delightful lively grittiness of a port city.