So I haven’t really had anything to write about on this blog for about a month now, as I was home over Christmas and assumed that my Christmas Day eating and sleeping habits (50:50 ratio if you’re interested) weren’t what this blog was meant to be used for. However, I’m now back on the mainland and have already started work at my new placement (a receptionist gig in a youth hostel, but that’s for another post), so I thought that now was about the right time to start blogging again.
So I’m currently in Marseille, a city which I have to say I was slightly nervous of moving to, due the reputation it has and the coverage it has received from the French media. However, I’ve been here almost a week now, and having had the chance to experience the city first hand, I have to say that there is so far no real difference between Marseille and other major European cities, such as Paris or Barcelona. All these cities have areas that tourists and foreigners are advised to avoid and all these cities have issues with petty theft and pick pocketing, especially in tourist areas. But Marseille’s “problems” whilst supposedly much worse than anywhere else, if you choose to believe everything written in the media, are really no more noticeable than these other major cities.
So..now that I’ve got that out of the way, on to the slightly lighter, fluffy stuff. I’m currently living out of a youth hostel in the Vieux Port area of the city, although not the one I’ll be working in (don’t tell my boss), which has given me a great central location from which to explore most of the city’s major land marks, like Notre Dame de la Garde, the church which towers above the rest of Marseille and offers great views of the city and its’ surroundings, and the Fort St Jean, which stands at the entrance to the Vieux Port and has a truly fascinating history, and also currently houses the Museum of European and Mediterranean Cultures (MuCEM), which I definitely need to visit at some point.
Other sights I need to see are the Stade Velodrome, which I’ve seen from a distance from Notre Dame, and the famous Calanques, the national parks just a short bus ride outside of Marseille, which comprise of steep wooded mountainous terrain and awe inspiring white cliffs. Should be enough to keep me busy for a few weekends!
All in all then, I think my first impressions here a pretty positive. I move into my rented flat tomorrow evening, so I have that to look forward to and then back into work. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this blog updated so you can see how and what I’m doing.