Monthly Archives: January 2017

Marseille – Le Vieux Port

Nathan looks at Marseille from Frioul archipelago, with Chateau d’If on the right

Where to begin when talking about Marseille? The city is so diverse with such a rich history, and it is popular, even more so since 2013 when it was designated by the EU as the European Capital of Culture, for one year. With such a question, I normally resort to my yoga perspective and say ‘you start with the centre.’ Of course.

Le Vieux Port is one of the most attractive sites of Marseille

And the centre is of course Le Vieux Port, the old harbor. Others regard the beautiful Notre-Dame de La Garde, Our Guardian Lady, the Catholic basilica, as the central focus point, as it stands high above, guarding the city. However, the city‘s history starts in 600 BC when Greek settlers landed there to begin a trading post which later was known as the Vieux Port, and the city was called Massalia.

Le Vieux Port has become a marina where boat owners park their boats

Ferries and private boats have replaced the trading ships of the past at Le Vieux Port

During the nineteenth century, the trading activities were moved to nearby sites but Le Vieux Port retained its centre-of-the-city position and started to function as a marina and a terminal where ferries depart to nearby towns and islands, like the Frioul archipelago where also the famous Chateau d’If, prison island, can be visited.

A perfect location to view the setting sun, Le Vieux Port

Almost completely destroyed during WWII, and lovingly rebuild under architect Fernand Pouillon, Le Vieux Port is the heart of Marseille, offering inspiration when it comes to people, sea and city.

The Mountain That Swims

Cassis on the Rivièra

Always refreshing to start a new year in the slow pace of village life. It is said that the Romans were first in mentioning Cassis as a coastal fishing village that was flanked by ‘Cap Naïo’, as called in the Provençal language. It means ‘the mountain that swims.’

Nathan takes in the beauty of Cap Canaille

The beauty of this enticing ochre-colored cliff inspires you to sit down and just take it all in and let nature rebuild your state of mind.

Nature continues in the man-made environment, like the simple and solid lighthouse that is constructed from the natural stone found in the Cassis area. It still guides boats to the harbor at night while it stands on its own as a piece of art.

Cassis Lighthouse is constructed from natural stone found in the area

All along the harbor line one can sit down, taste the local cuisine, and enjoy the scenic character of Cassis