First Impressions of Marseille

Standard
  • I was expecting it to be hotter here. It was much hotter and muggier in Basel. No complaints here!
  • The landscape is actually reminiscent of scrub habitat on ridges and valleys in parts of the American Southwest.
  • But the rain my first afternoon here? Reminiscent of the light afternoon storms in my old college town. 🙂
  • It’s so windy here! Also like my college town.
  • My host says Marseille is a dangerous place…not what I was expecting. Lots of fighting (some fatal) between people wanting to control the local drug trade. We passed a car whose window had been broken into on the walk to his car. There was still glass all over the sidewalk.
  • Parts of Marseille look pretty from far away- peach and cream houses nestled into scrubland hillsides and around a bay of the Mediterranean. But when you look closer, it’s very run down. Graffiti everywhere, and none of it pretty. The (I assume) newer buildings lack the peach and cream theme and are strictly utilitarian, not aesthetic.
  • But my host lives in a small town nearby. It’s quite pretty here.
  • You can see a big cave from their window. Seems Pleistocene bears have been found there.
  • I’m very much enjoying staying with him and his wife. Having conversations in mixed English and French is actually pretty helpful since what I can say isn’t as restricted as trying to speak only in French. And he’s able to translate when she and I don’t know what each other said.
  • Collared doves EVERYWHERE.

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