24-Hours-Marseille // part i

August 24, 2015

Somehow, Marseille has always been among the tops of my travel bucket list. Ever since I saw a picture of the old port of Marseille in my 7th grade (or so) French school book. It wasn’t even a beautiful or special picture but you could see the hussle and bustle of the port, the southern, golden sun, the sandy coloured, somewhat shabby buildings with the elaborated balconies and the blue reflections of the sea in the windows. And the picture stuck in my head and there it has been ever since. So it was an easy decision to make a stop over in Marseille on our way further into the south-east of France.

After a cozy night train journey to Paris, we travelled on a morning train to Marseille - and after 3 hours stepped out into the golden midday sunshine of the French South. I will always prefer the slow travelling by train rather than the hassle of a flight. In the hours of the journey while the landscape slowly changes around me, I somehow adapt to these changes and my thoughts wander off, clearing the head and making way for the new things that are to come while the anticipation has time to grow.

The main station of Marseille is on a little hill - therefore, when you step out of the building you are greeted by the whole city at once, with a brilliant view and the white silhouette of the cathedral at the horizon. The houses standing so near next and before each other, almost looking as if elbowing their way through to be the first to greet you. You make your way into this melting pot by stepping down beautiful stairs, made of white stone, that leads you directly into the heart of the city.

We only had a 24 hours stay - of course, we wanted to make the most of it. After a quick check-in at our pension, we set out exploring. Before our travels, I read about the MuCEM and really wanted to see this building. For me it’s always good to have one destination from which I then can start the random wanderings. And that’s what we did - exploring this strangely beautiful architectural creation and then randomly walk through Marseilles streets. When it became dark we ate by the old port, watching the sun set, the lights turning on, the people sitting and talking, the music getting louder. Just watching everyday life at the port of Marseille. The page of my school book coming alive.

The air was getting cooler and breezier as the darkness settled and the windows, that were closed during the day to shut out the heat, were opened and the inner sounds from the flats of the city melted with the outer sounds of the streets. After the long day of travelling and walking we were a bit overwhelmed by the powerful atmosphere of this lively, beautiful, shabby, nervous, loud, exhausting city, that we made our way home to the pension through quite side streets and lonely alleys just accompanied by the distant voices of the port’s night life.


  1. Amazing photos...

    Atmospheric words, taking me with you...

    Delightful, to have fulfilled a long ago wish...

    Gentle hugs,

  2. Such a beautiful portrait of Marseille!

  3. I loved Marseille so much! I went there a few months ago for my sister's graduation ceremony. It's such an understated city. We should give it more credit :) xx

  4. What a beautiful place. It looks so alive and vibrant.

  5. beautiful! i'd love to visit :)

  6. stunning. love, love, love all of them!