Wayward Lovers

[wey-werd] turning or changing irregularly; irregular: a wayward breeze.

Marseille, I say.

Aaaagh! There is so much to say about Marseille. It was been an incredibly interesting city to live in and explore. It’s the only place that we’ve visited that I really wasn’t sure what to expect. When I was doing research on Marseille, many websites and other travellers said not to come here, “it’s dirty and full of crime,” but we also found pictures of its beauty. We found where “safer” neighbourhoods are and decided to come and see this “dangerous” city for ourselves.

Marseille has a very colourful history and I mean that both literally and figuratively. As a port city it has a long history of immigration. Due to France’s relatively recent colonization of Algeria, and the even more recent Algerian independence (1960’s), Marseille has a large Muslim and Algerian population. Our apartment was in a very Muslim neighbourhood. Although, I didn’t know this when we booked the place; I mean religion and ethnicity isn’t on my neighbourhood choice checklist. I did, however, know we would be living towards the “poor” part of the city.

I’ve honestly never felt unsafe in our neighbourhood, we definitely draw more stares than in other neighbourhoods as we are the whitest kids on the block, plus my bright red hair attracts attention always. I’m not going to give in to any ideas that this city is any more crime filled than any other large city in Europe, but this city does have a huge divide. You can feel it. Due to racism and classism.

Our 'hood
Our ‘hood.

Now that I’ve shared the flavour of Marseille lets talk about my favourite things!

1.  OMG Pizza! Marseille also has many immigrants from Naples, Italy and inherited their delicious pizza. The main difference is that they use Emmental cheese instead of mozza.

Our top 3 pizza places:

At the market eating street pizza! Streetza!
This guy is making me a pizza!
I’m eating more pizza than my first year of University. This one has all the sea creatures.

2. The Old Port waterfront. The old port is full of cool things for tourists and just for a fun day out. The old port is actually mostly newly rebuilt since WW2 because the Allies bombed Marseille to take it back from the Nazis. Trés history!






(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)

3. Notre Dame de la Garde. Marseille’s landscape is defined by this basilica sitting on top of a mountain in the middle of the city. You can go up to the basilica and walk all the around it for incredible views of the city, the mountains that surround the city, and the Mediterranean Sea. It was used for military purposes, as well as for religious purposes.










(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)

4. Island adventure! We took a short ferry ride over to Frioul Island near Marseille. It was so cool that I’ma do a separate post about it 🙂

5. The ambience and neighbourhoods. Marseille holds a variety of neigbourhoods to enjoy and explore. We spent most of our time in the Panier and Old Port area which holds lots of interesting buildings, cafes, and museums.

A Cathedral under repair.
Street art in the historic Panier neighbourhood.



The Mediterranean Museum.

(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)


John made a lovely friend through squash who invited us over for lunch at their beautiful home in Marseille.


6. For our last day we went over to Palace Longchamp and the Funny Zoo! Palace Longchamp has a beautiful display of renaissance sculpture within an incredible fountain. Next door is the Funny Zoo, it’s not really haha funny, it’s weird funny. The Funny Zoo used to be a real zoo. One of those terrible zoos with tiny enclosures for animals. Since it’s closed as a real zoo, because people realized animals deserve better, they made the old zoo area into a public park and used the enclosures to hold weird colourful sculptures of animals.

(click here for the panorama if the embedded one doesn’t work, or to see it full screen)



John made a friend.





Our visit to Marseille was  a little too short to see everything the city has to offer. As unsure as I was about the city at first I’ve definitely grown to love it especially that waterfront. If I am ever able to come back I would love to come in the summer to enjoy the beaches and perhaps stay on one of the islands nearby.

The trend of our travels is that we just get accustomed to the city and its nuances as we are about to leave it. I’m glad we didn’t take the advice of those travel blogs describing the city as an undesirable location. I’m not sure how you could go wrong with any location in the South of France.



Bonus: Our map of Marseille.