Sunday, March 23, 2014

Scavenger Hunt

This past Wednesday, Cheri and I set off on a scavenger hunt around Marseille.  While we have been here for 2 months (side note - WHAT?!? crazy. There is no way that I left home over 2 months ago) we still had not seen all of Marseille. It was a beautiful day with perfect weather for exploring for a few hours.

Our first stop was Cores Julien.  This is the "artist district" of Marseille.  Unfortunately we got there a little after lunch time but on Wednesday mornings they have an organic market in the square.  There are all sorts of cafes and shops throughout this area.  Rue Bussy L'Indien (rue means street in french) is a small alleyway where both sides are covered in graffiti.  It made me feel like I was walking through the freedom expression tunnel on NC State's campus.

As we continued down Cores Julien we were told to cross the street then follow our nose to 34 Cours Julien.  I thought those were weird directions but sure enough as soon as we crossed the street the smell of fresh laundry (one of my favorite scents, btw) all the way to the Unicorn Marseille Soap Factory! This factory has been making soap for over 100 years.  I would love to go back another time and take a tour.  All of their soaps smelled so good!

Also, the Cicada is the official insect for Marseille, maybe the whole Provence region of France but I'm not sure.  Apparently they are everywhere during the summer. If anyone wants cicada shaped soap, just let me know.

Eventually Cheri and I made our way to the Cathedral de la Major. This is probably one of the biggest cathedrals I have ever seen.  I love exploring various cathedrals to see how intricate they are.  This one definitely had no limits when it came to its design.  First of all, I love the stripes on the outside of the building.  This church was started in the 12th century but most of the cathedral was built in the 1800s. I think this cathedral had more statues than any of the other cathedrals I have seen, including one of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  And of course there was a golden statue of Mary.  The one thing about these ornate cathedrals is that they make me sad - I'm not sure where in the bible it said a church had to be so grand and ornate and I definitely don't feel like they say "come as you are".  I want to come back here one Sunday and attend a church service because I'm pretty sure it will be as opposite as possible from my southern baptist church that I was raised in.  It will be a cultural experience for sure.

They spent so much money on the church they ran out of ink for the printer

I feel like John is saying "what up playa?!"

After the church we walked down to Fort Saint Jean. This Fort was built by Louis XIV. Unfortunately I did not take that many pictures of the fort itself. The fort was built at the entrance of the port as a way of security for Marseille and from Marseille.  The cannons were built on both sides, just in case Marseille decided to rebel against France. During WWII Fort Saint-Jean was occupied by the german military.  In 1944 during the liberation of Marseille, there was an explosion within the fort and it destroyed most of its historic buildings.

After 3 hours of exploring, Cheri and I made our way down to the rocks and just sat and enjoyed the view of the Mediterranean. There were some people swimming in the water but I thought they were crazy because there is no way that water wasn't freezing.  

I wish I could bring all of yall to Marseille and show you the sites because these pictures really don't do it justice!  Exploring Marseille made me think that I want to do a scavenger hunt around Raleigh and try to look at it form an outsiders point of view.  Anyone want to join? 

À la prochaine!   

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