Marseille Roadtrip !

Bonjour à tous!

In typical English fashion, whenever I’m thinking of how to start a blog post I’m always temped to write about the weather and this time I’m going to give in to the stereotype and just do it. The weather on this side of the pond (or on Montpel at least) seems to be having some bi-polar episodes. After the floods last week which disappeared as quickly as they arrived, on Monday night it looked like the whole thing was going to repeat itself: a thunderstorm kept me awake until 2am and caused the Lez to flood and the mayor to call an emergency meeting at 1:30am. On Tuesday morning, everything was normal again but we’re still forecast serious rainfall for the weekend. I suppose this is my punishment for posting so many beach photos when I first moved here…

Last weekend we made our first roadtrip – to Marseille! After lessons on Friday, (I finished lessons at 6:15pm, my earliest finishing time) we headed off in the car to our Airbnb. We were horrified when we saw a rat near the entrance to the building we would be staying in, but all thoughts of vermin were forgotten when we climbed the 60 billion flights of stairs to the top floor and found that our apartment had a hammock. IMG_9249 I slept in the hammock on the first night and it was surprisingly comfy! The second night, though, I was convinced that the hammock seemed to have sagged quite a lot since the night before and I didn’t trust it not to break. Since I didn’t really fancy dying, I gave it a miss that night. Untitled 2 We had sea views from the kitchen window, and a really cool one-way mirror in the shower meant that when showering, you could see through the kitchen and out to the sea. So cool. After we arrived on the first night, we all went out for a drink and Mickaël was treated like a king and given a free shot because he was the only boy in a group of eight girls and they assumed he was a massive player. He probably needed the alcohol to be honest. We walked back to our apartment from the centre and counted ten rats on the way. 10676308_10152729164035446_7491255797130132821_n 10703817_10204033344746462_5361634402838763640_n

Mickaël’s meufs / Mick’s chicks

We had a very cultural day on Saturday: we caught the bus to Notre-Dame de la Garde (a big church on a hill)… IMG_9276IMG_9265 IMG_9269 1902969_10204033360906866_7390272107053734105_nIMG_9274 IMG_9277 … saw an art exhibition by Chiharu Shiota called ‘The State of Being’ that consisted of a lot of black string and some floating dresses…

IMG_9285IMG_9286I’m not arty enough to know what this symbolises but it probably has something to do with the idea that we’re all trapped in a web of consumerism…

… and went to MuCEM (a museum of culture) which I’d learnt about in French oral so it was cool to see it in real life. Chantal and I managed to get separated from the others because we weren’t allowed to take coffee with us into the exhibition (the security guard let us know he was annoyed by pointing condescendingly at a miniscule symbol on the door that, when you squinted your eyes, you could just about tell was a hamburger with a cross through it). When we eventually got into the exhibition we couldn’t find the exit (well, we found it but we thought it was a fire door) so we tried to get out the same way we went in. Mr Security Man was not happy and did some more angry pointing. Then Mickaël called me to ask where we were, but answering my phone caused even more outrage as the security guard silently stabbed his finger at another symbol that probably meant no phones. After that, I had the giggles and just couldn’t stop laughing. Other than that, it was quite cultural and sophisticated. Untitled10653510_10152729168620446_8487095719602171200_n And obviously we stopped for bagels and ice cream too.

IMG_9278 IMG_9255IMG_9256So that’s why we could access the wifi!

That night we first went to an overpriced cocktail bar and then to a bar called Barberousse, of which there’s also one in Montpellier. It’s more of a bar than a club but it blurs the lines a little bit (hehe) because even though it’s very small, it plays club-y music. Inside, it’s decorated like a pirate ship and for a mere 2,50€ you can buy a shot (but really it’s a double shot) of rum which comes in loads of flavours: peach, honey, aniseed, vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon, banana and spécial to name just a few (I don’t know what spécial is yet, but I’ll find out). We also had an amazing cherry wine type drink which was possibly the best thing I’ve ever had to drink but I’ve no idea what it was so I’ll probably never have it again. Also, the barmen were fit and kept making flaming shots, so happy faces all round really. IMG_9316 Rat count on the way home: 0

Sunday was a great day. We’d planned to go and visit two of the islands just off the coast of Marseille, If and Frioul, and get in some last minute sunbathing but unfortunately the weather didn’t agree and it was fairly overcast as we took the boat to the Chateau d’If.

10645121_398526410301182_5621374392137134503_n 482303_10204033401307876_2309039642816225434_n IMG_9339 10155651_10152729175550446_1122734347647029848_n 10155651_10152729175560446_3554095147480450122_n 10533448_10204033417148272_580377584936690586_n

Chateau d’If

Towards the end of the day, though, the sun decided to come out and we all gratefully took off our jumpers and hoodies to enjoy the beautiful views from les Îles de Frioul. Untitled 3 IMG_9372 IMG_9368 IMG_9355 10710557_10152729176070446_6085742113589580393_n 10703727_365229636969060_3169976969015580196_n 10659443_10204033415908241_4917577155022274948_n Then, after a trip back to the mainland and a quick subway dinner (which was a great test of French vocab), Chantal, Ruth, Eline, Mickaël and I piled back into the car for 2 hours of eclectic music, ranging from Taylor Swift to Elvis Presley to Kanye to My Chemical Romance to Earth Wind and Fire to finally end with a heartwarming rendition of the Backstreet Boys’ ‘Everybody’. A wonderful end to a wonderful trip.

Now I’m back at uni and the less said about that the better, really.

Things crossed off the bucket list this week:

  • Visit Marseilles

Bisous xxx IMG_9327

Almost forgot what country I was in for a minute there

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