«

»

May
31

Cheap Tickets to Marseille-The cool new place to hang this summer

Nice is so yesterday, Cannes so last month. But Marseille, Marseille is seriously the place to be.  Trendy, still cheap and believe it or not pretty damn well integrated, fly to Marseille this summer and check it out.

marseilles

marseilles

Most foreigners who come to the south of France think of Marseille as an exit or entry point. It’s convenient, only an hour’s drive from Avignon and the hill towns of the Vaucluse made famous by Mayle’s books.

But Marseille is all about the water, land has very little to do with the life of the place.

magical skyline

magical skyline

People in Marseille orient themselves by two points: the sea and the Notre-Dame de la Garde, a basilica dominated by a golden, sparkling statue of the Virgin and child. If you head into the city’s center, you’ll pass one of the city’s most important theaters, which is housed in what used to be one of the world’s largest covered fish markets, the Criee aux Poissons, or ”fish auction.” Ship and tackle stores lined the Vieux Port, selling model pirate ships and fake ship’s lanterns, as well as real diving gear, ship’s rope and brass fittings. Early-rising fishermen, townspeople and tourists were having beakers of beer and glasses of pastis just after sunrise at the Bar de la Marine.  Here, it’s work.

marseilles fish market

marseilles fish market

At one end of the old port, in boxes and stalls and on flat, collapsible tables, the catch of the morning was laid out. People get up early here to buy for their treasured bouillabaisse.

Marseille is, by geography and history, the most outward looking of all French cities. It has long welcomed immigrants, especially sailors and fishermen. Marseillais of longstanding French origins often look a little like Greeks or Italians or Corsicans, and they are descended from them. Spiritually, Marseille has more in common with Barcelona, Genoa, Italy, Tunis, Algiers, Ajaccio and Athens than it does with Nancy, Brest, Dijon or even Aix-en-Provence. it’s like a whol other world, book your flights to marseille and see it for yourself.

marseilles of old

marseilles of old

For centuries, and probably for millenniums, the city has been run by warring gangs. The Corsican and French-Italian mobs only recently seem to have faded away, but there are North African gangs to replace them. And yet this city feels like New York in its acceptance of the non-french. Book a flight to Marseilles, it’s a breath of fresh air, believe it or not.

Unlike Paris, Marseille is not is relentlessly bourgeois. Thank God, right! It’s not is self-satisfied. It’s not condescending. It’s not cold and distant. It does not see itself as sitting at the pinnacle of a grandiose empire, though its role as a port and military base has been crucial to all of France’s international adventures.

julia child in marseilles

julia child in marseilles

This is how Julia Child described Marseille in 1953, when she was living on the Vieux Port: ”The air was brisk and breezy, and the harbor was redolent of sewage and decaying fish. There were mobs of sailors, soldiers, Arabs, gamins, whores, pickpockets, shopkeepers, tourists and citizens of every shape and size, all moiling and shouting.”

One reason Marseille has remained relatively quiet when many other French towns burst into unrest and discontent during the past few years is that it has never totally marginalized its immigrant population. Plenty of the housing projects for poor immigrants in Marseille are downtown, not in ring cities of alienation and anger, as in Paris and Lyon.

Marseille la plage des catalans

Marseille la plage des catalans

Explore this city on foot, you can do a lot in one day. The crowded city beach at Plage des Catalans is a great stomping ground. Check out the fashionable shopping street Rue St.-Ferreol; the Panier, a winding and formerly impoverished immigrant quarter from which Jews were rounded up during the Nazi occupation; and the old stock exchange, La Bourse. Book your cheap tickets to Marseille, you won’t be disappointed.

marseille shopping

marseille shopping

The refurbished Rue de la Republique extends down to the broad Canebiere, making this city seem even grander than it is. Other streets in other neighborhoods are narrow and feel very illusive. Grills, gratings and elegant Deco ironwork filigree the city. Cafe life overflows onto the curbside, exuberant and loud. There are dozens of theaters, and always intelligent museum exhibitions. It’s really something you have never seen if you’ve only gone to Paris. Book your cheap flights to Marseille, you won’t regret.

Where to stay?

Mama Shelter, of curse.

Philippe Starck works his magic in southern France.

mama-marseille

mama-marseille

When Philippe Starck opened a boutique hotel in a converted car park in the edgy 20th arrondissement in Paris four years ago, it caused a stir. But Mama Shelter’s avant-garde design, ultra-cheap rooms and DJ nights won over the crowd. Now the designer has turned his sights south, with a Mama Shelter in Marseille’s arty Cours Julien neighborhood. With off-beat decor, hi-tech goodies – iMac TVs, free Wi-Fi – a restaurant run by godfather of Nouvelle Cuisine Alain Senderens, music soirées, pingpong tables and scooters for hire, it looks set to become the city’s hippest new hangout. Rooms from €69 a night (mamashelter.com).  So cheap how can you say no to flights to marseilles?

Our sources have indicated that the ipad 3 will be very modestly thicker, a difference so small https://cellspyapps.org that it literally requires calipers to measure

Flights - Hotels - Vacations - Cars - Cruises - Last Minute - Travel Guides - Airport Guides - City Guides

© 2002-2011 Best Travel Store All Rights Reserved.