Further Explorations in Marseille


After my morning’s walk, Rene and I head out again for another adventure. Rene takes me on a wild, circuitous path through the city retracing the steps that Cati had taken her on one of their infamous shopping trips. We go into the Arabic quarter, down narrow streets, past fruit stands and spice shops…


where finally, we arrive at Le Soleil D’Egypte, a stall which sells, “little Moroccan burritos” (as Rene likes to call them). Rene got boureke (something like a meat pie) and I got bastilla (a kind of curried egg dish).


Afterward, we duck into a cafe and grab a quick cup of coffee. Then it’s off to the metro to get Rene her 3 day metro pass as well.


Getting off the metro, we take a quick walk in the park. I was surprised to find this attendant’s motorcycle parked outside his kiddie ride.


We walked down a different stretch of the same Prado where I had been walking earlier today. We went past the soccer stadium, then finally we arrived at Le Corbusier, a early modern concrete high rise building with architectural significance.

Somehow, upon entering the building, I lose track of Rene, and at the same time, I’m invited up to view one of the apartments by one of the residents who is very proud to live in the building. I figure that, while I’m kind of nervous to head out apart from Rene, that this is a pretty cool opportunity that I don’t want to pass up.


I’m lead up to the second floor, where the doors have an alternating color scheme of greens and yellows and reds.


Upon entering his apartment, I find out in that his name is Robert. The apartment is well furnished and has a lot of character. I find out that he deals in antiques.


He shows me the kitchen.


He shows me the sitting room.


I follow him upstairs which reveals a surprisingly large apartment which extends from one side of the building all the way to the next, each direction with it’s own tall, wide windows and startling views of the city.


Robert shows me his work area and various other closets and features built into the living space by Corbusier himself. I’m quite impressed by the pride that he has in his apartment, and am grateful for his generosity but I lack the language to adequately express these thoughts. We shake hands and say our goodbyes. Then, I head down to the ground floor where I am reunited with Rene who has been looking all over for me all this time.

Once down to the ground floor, I get something of a playful scolding. I’m glad Rene knows me, and so she understands that these kinds of side adventures are just part of another day in the life of John Tynan.


We then decide to go to the ninth floor — to the top of the structure — as Walt Lockley, our good friend and architecture expert, had suggested. The roof has a ton of crazy structures. Like this:


and this:


and this:


and this:


We get a bit of vertigo being so high up. So we head back down to the third floor to check out the restaurant. The smell is a bit institutional and the halls are kind of claustrophobic, so we head out to the ground floor, and then outside.

Getting back on the bus, we ride in toward the Vieux Port and duck into some of the shops where Rene finds at the Virgin megastore, a book of photos about Marseille as a gift, and at a local Anthropologie-like clothing store, she finds a fun blue sweater with a flower running up one side. We head back to home, tired but appreciative of our little apartment.

  1. Randy K’s avatar

    nice pics. I am glad you are having a good time. my ancestors left Europe in the 1830s and never looked back! hard to trace them back to the old country now.

  2. Christy’s avatar

    Gosh, I’d love to feel free enough to just go in some guy’s apartment and not imagine my severed head would wind up in a jar…..

    Cool! Very cool!


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