Dodgy South

Trip Start Jul 02, 2007
Trip End Jan 2008

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Flag of France  ,
Friday, July 27, 2007

Arret a Marseilles afin de voir mon parrain - cousin et ses 3 petits garcons.
Mon cousin JL m a montre un tout autre Marseilles. J etais alle a Maresilles il y a 13 ans de ca et j avais eu une  mauvaise impression. J avais trouve la ville salle et les gens byzarres. Notament du a une descente sur la mythique Canebiere ou d un cote de la rue il y avait une bande de punk et de l autre une autre bande pas tres nette non plus. Bref au milieu de tout ca les graffitis ect.. La ville ne m avait pas marquee ou impressionnee.

Et bien la je dois dire que j en ai eu un tout autre apercu. Finalement Marseilles semble etre une ville a part ou l on vit plutot bien. Bon! bien sur il faut s adapter a la culture Marseillaise et surtout aux marseillais :-).

Mais la promenade en face des iles du frioul ect...fut tres agreable. D ailleurs pour la petite histoire , les iles du frioul et notament le Chateau d If, ont servis d inspiration pour le fameu roman : Le comte de Monte Cristo.

Bref a Marseilles on peut boire du pastis, faire de la plongee sous marrine, surfer ( et oui ) et surtout parler tres fort en disant E_ _ _ _ _ tous les 3 mots.

Bref j ai revu mon aprioris sur Marseilles et j ai bien aime.

Je crois que c est le but du voyage : revoir sa copie et ses aprioris :-)

We stayed in Marseilles for one night, at the home of Laura's godfather.  And contrary to what Laura had experienced about Marseilles previously, it was not such a bad place (quite nice actually).  Sure, it has a reputation for crime and unemployment, but tell me: which big city doesn't? 

But if you were to name one thing that defines Marseilles, it is the way the people identify themselves.  What I mean by that is that because the city is made up of a large and varied migrant population people are not defined by where their roots come from, but where they are now.  To put it in other terms, they do not consider that their nationality or religion comes first (eg, French, African, Jewish, Muslem, etc.), but that they are from Marseilles first, and the other part of identity comes second.  And that is the way it seemed when you'd look around and see such mixed groups of people.  Very multi-cultural and tolerant.

Another thing that is of note there is the way the people of Marseilles drive.  Very agressively and eratically.  But it was explained to me that this is how people in the south drive, and as you go further, the driving gets worse (as we experienced).  As if the people of the north weren't bad enough!

One little interesting fact we found out about Marseilles, as Jean-Luc explained to us, is that the little island just a couple of thousand metres off shore was where the fictional story of "The Count of Monte-Christo" was based on.

And just before we got back on the train, we dropped into the church overlooking Marseilles, known as the church of travellers.  Laura put up a candle for good-luck during our journey.
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