Friday, November 8, 2013

Postcards from Marseilles

It was balmy in Marseilles last week. Even at night the breezes off the Mediterranean were gentle and refreshing — unlike the frosty blasts I just encountered here. I walked around the harbor and Panier district, not far from our hotel, in a tee and flip flops. I didn't have a guidebook so I just wandered and took photos.

My favorite memory is of a small square with a couple of inexpensive caf├ęs, where a guitarist and a drummer were going through the Gypsy Kings playbook in the late afternoon. It was great. I heard the Gypsy Kings elsewhere on our trip, too. They must be getting popular again.

Here's what I saw:

The harbor, a Mediterranean parking lot for hundreds of boats.

Looking across to the hilltop church of Notre-Dame de la Garde.

Mediterranean blue sky and sea.

A picturesque but slight seedy atmosphere seems typical of Marseille.

Someone was feeling artistic.

A competing mosaic across the street.

The harbor is an interesting place to hang out... or fall in.

This church reminds me of those multilayer Dobosh tortes you can find around the holidays —
with dozens of thin layers of vanilla cake and chocolate frosting. I have a one-track mind.

I made a friend.

It's Time to Dance.

 Our hotel, a former hospital, overlooks the harbor.

Lit up with fountains at night. A huge upper terrace with garden has the harbor view.

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