Meeting the Chat Lady
My fondest memory of Marseilles is meeting the 'cat lady'. We were exploring some side streets of Marseilles and found a site of a former church that had been destroyed during World War II. There is still a small church behind the original walls of the destroyed church with a large iron fence around the property. There were many cats wondering around the courtyard. An elderly lady approached us and began speaking to us in French. I understand a little French from my high school days (30 years ago!). So I was able to pick up bits and pieces of what she was trying to tell us. She was explaining to us that the cats have been abandoned and she brings food for them each day. She keep trying to tell us how sad it made her to see the cats abandoned. She had some food for the cats as we were talking with her. She was a very charming lady and really made our day for us. I believe she would have talked of her cats for hours if we had been able to stay with her longer.
Interesting game of local population
Petanque is the game about I'm speaking. If you have free time and have bought a peach in local food shop of Panier district then go to Cathedral De La Major. If you will be at time then you can watch this game. Next to Cathedral is place for Petanque.
Really interesting game and I suppose it isn't a only place where local people play Petanque in Marseilles.
This game is a little similar to curling but the scene is laid in sand and players send a ball closer to center. This game play mens and womens as well.
Emergency exit !
For Le Corbusier, in a building, everything had to be functional and there was no fancy décor added. On the other hand, instead of hiding, for example emergency exits, he thought them as a part of the scenery. He associates straight lines and curves with a great sense of harmony.
being ripped-off with the french
Where do I start? Well, I'd heard some stories about this place before we went: tales of fluctuating prices, celebrities, tourists being ripped-off, and anyone daring to complain being thrown out on their ears.. so it was with some trepidation that the three of us walked up the hill behind Quai du Port to find Pizzaria Etienne. It was packed with locals which should have been a good sign, but then came the pay-off: there is no menu to look at, and no prices anywhere on the wall to show you what you will be paying, so you have no idea about the cost. You have to ask the waiters what is on the menu for the day. We chose a "moitié-moitié" pizza to share as a starter, and then followed up with supions (chopped squid) and a pavé (steak). The pizza was fine (my two french friends insisted that it is the best pizza in Marseilles), the supions (very small portion) were okay but nothing special, and the steak was, well, a steak. We drank rosé, and sent the first bottle back because it was corked. The wine was fairly poor, and not very cold, so we had to drink it with ice. The fun started when we asked to pay. They first said that the bill was 50 euros, then they changed their minds and said 80 euros. When my friend who was paying started to complain, they upped the bill to 100 euros! So he had a good go at the staff, saying that, for what we had had, the bill was extortionate.. but they didn't budge, and insisted on 100 euros. When he asked for a bill, we got one that just said "Three complete meals- 100 euros". Now, according to my two french friends, it is illegal in France for a restaurant not to display its prices somewhere in the restaurant, but Pizzaria Etienne just seems to get away with it. My friend, who had paid, left the restaurant, insisting that he would never go back. It was an experience, I can tell you.
The cost was 100 euros (16.38 vat) for one pizza, one steak, two small portions of supions, and two bottles of poor rosé.
The Frioul Islands
From the Old Port, one can catch a boat out to the Frioul Islands, an archipelago just off the coastline. The Chateau d'If is the most famed attraction here. Built by King Francois I in the 16th century, its main purpose was to help keep control over the city. The fort is also the setting for The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas' 19th century novel.
Also, be sure to visit the other islands here. They offer some sandy beaches and excellent views of the city.