Well, my Seattle upbringing and German/Norwegain heritage were obviously no match for the Marseilles sun… ouch! It was only the spots that I missed with sunscreen but still.
Anyway, Marseilles is beautifully located on the Mediterranean Sea, the bluest blue waters I’ve ever seen for sure. While the Old Port and other heavily trafficed areas are rather nice the rest of the city is well…. icky. Now this is just my opinion but I will say that I love the weather, the old port, and the sea side of Marseilles but that’s about it for my high lights list. Luckily that was what I came down here for.
Problems with the city? Let’s start with the smell, a lovely aroma that keeps you guessing whether each turn of the corner will yield garbage, urine, or excrement smells. Kind of like Russian roulette for your nose, only they are all bullets and sometimes you get a Nirvana of an empty chamber. Sorry, I’m sure that reads a lot harsher than it should.
Now I thought Caen had a graffiti problem but in hindsight Paris was worse. If the level of Paris graffiti is, let’s say, a 6 or 7 out of ten (really not too terrible) then Marseilles is probably a 12. I honestly don’t know how they find new places to do it, they have skill for sure.
Finally of all of the French cities I’ve visited I unfortunately have to say that I feel the least safe here. In Caen I walk around no problem, in Paris I’m pretty comfortable being anywhere, but here, I’m constantly thinking about it. Maybe it’s just me.
Now, before I wrap this up on a downer note let me change the tone. I have still enjoyed my time here a lot. It was a good vacation spot and I think my time here was well spent. I relaxed, I read, I reddened a bit. There are other parts of the city that are GORGEOUS, like the church on the hill, the old port walks and some others. So, yes, there are some parts of the city that need to be improved but still a good spot.