Friday, September 14, 2012

Marseille!


It’s been a few years since I’ve been to Marseille and I was excited to go as my visits before were far too brief, this time though I was going to be there for at least a few days and was looking forward to exploring and learning as much as I could about Marseille and the LGBT community, especially since EuroPride 2013 is taking place in Marseille next July 10th to 20th.

And I love the fact that Marseille is only about two hours by TGV train from Cannes passing through Saint Raphaël, TouIon and while in transit you are able to see the landscapes change from red to white stone with stunning greenery and mountainside along the way.

On arrival to the Saint Charles Train Station in Marseille, the self-explanatory signage made it easy to find my way through to the subway station and to which part of the city I needed to go to in order to find my hotel.

Once off the subway, I found myself in a very hipster outdoor market area named ''Cours Julien' or also kknow as the 'District of the Young People'.  I loved the colorful surroundings right away, and was later to learn that this is where many artists live and that behind many of the apartment buildings were sometimes secret, beautiful gardens.  No wonder my ultra-cool hotel decided to set up shop here.



I’ve heard people remark in the past how Marseille seemed to have a reputation of being a big, dirty and even dodgy city.  I think a city of any size will of course have their issues, and as odd as it sounds, I personally get a thrill out of being in a place where I’m maybe not supposed to be, but yet on this visit to Marseille, I never felt unsafe at all when I would be out with friends or on my own anytime during the day or late at night wondering the streets.


Many of the beautiful boulevards in Marseille are reminiscent of those in Paris, with plenty of green spaces and lined with unique architectural designs, and there is nothing better than walking through the weekly flower, clothing and food markets.


The people that I had met on this visit were helpful, generous and of good heart, willing to point out what makes Marseille the best choice for them in which to live.  The LGBT community is very strong and LGP Marseille are extremely eager to put on the best EuroPride ever.

This trip to Marseille really opened my eyes; it is truly a vibrant melting pot of cultural diversity, so much so that the city has been awarded the European Capital of Culture 2013!

MP2013

In the next few posts I will tell you more about my experiences in Marseille and I must say, I cannot wait to visit again and especially for EuroPride 2013!

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