Having a café at La Caravelle with Julien: Things to do in Marseille

2012-12-28

Read about the 10 things I loved doing while on vacation in Marseille.

The super sunny view from the small balcony of La Caravelle.

On Couchsurfing Marseille there is a list of things to do, while in Marseille, suggested by locals and travellers. The list has since grown to 200 over suggestions.

One of the places which was a must-visit was the Old Port, known as Le Vieux Port. “Have a café at La Caravelle” was the suggestion.

We decided to have a café at La Caravelle, a restaurant with a small balcony overlooking the boats that were docked just right in front of us. What a good suggestion!

What do I enjoy most about travel?

Getting lost.

It’s about getting lost, and finding things you never even thought about finding.

Being in a place for the very first time, I don’t really need an agenda or a walking guide. I used to be nitpicky about this aspect, always, always looking at Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, travel forums and printing out or buying a street map. When friends ask me about ‘Why this place or the other? What’s there to do?’ I would always be able to reply that I would be going there to: Ride an elephant/ go to the night bazaars/ just lie on the beach, etc. Especially for weekend trips, the short time in the destination meant that you had to plan a day of doing something.

I love to wander around alleyways and street corners, entering into interesting shops not found on tourist maps, often conversing with the locals or admiring the differences, the strange trees, the different ways the people carry themselves. In any case, you don’t know what to expect, or where to go since you are there for the first time. And finding things on your own becomes more significant than following a map of must-sees and must-dos.

Walking around the city centre near Le Vieux Port, we stumbled upon an interesting statue. It was a man of marble, in the classical style, with his ass being attacked (bitten) by a lion. Whaaaaaat? ‘Julien, why is there a sculpture in the square of Marseille, of a lion biting a man’s ass?’ Julien, my companion, immediately grounded to a halt, and whipped out his iPhone.

Okay. Let’s Wikipedia that!

Reading from the french version of Wikipedia, Julien informed me that this sculpture was supposed to be a legendary six-time winner, Olympian Milon de Crotone — back in the ancient faraway days where they used to do all kinds of sports naked. The story of his infamous death was where, he was walking in the woods one day and decided to test his strength by priying open some trees using his bare hands. However, he had a muscle cramp and stood there unable to move. Thus he was reputedly devoured by wolves, and died. Legendary!

(I’m not sure if what I wrote is truly accurate as I can’t really read French.)

So why depict a lion instead of wolves? There are no lions in Europe, informed Julien.

Apparently it was considered a romantic classical style back then to use lions. And why is Mister Milo in Marseille, and not, one might assume, Italy as he originally hails from? Well, the sculptor was a well-known artist, Pierre Paul Puget, born in Marseille. Aha.

We spotted, on other days walking and driving around the city, some other morbid sculptures: a random giant foot without its body, standing in a hotel courtyard, a finger (could be a thumb, and creepily looking very similar to Julien’s thumb), sprouting from a traffic roundabout, both sculptures made from the same cast-iron material and seemingly by the same artist.

I may consider to document all the sculptures and their interesting history the next time I visit Marseille.
But I’d rather build a large sand turtle on the amazing mini-beaches scattered around the coastline!

So here’s a few things on my list I would definitely enjoy doing again when I return to Marseille.

1. Having a café at La Caravelle.

My cappucino and the world map notebook that has accompanied me on many travels.

2. Take a ferry to Chateau d’ If.

This is the small island and prison where the classic book ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ is based.

3. Le Corbusier – Cité radieuse.

Julien was surprised that I knew about this place, an odd apartment building made of rough concrete that does not seem like anything special. Jerome, a friend who was from Marseille had informed me about the place as a must-visit, and this is one of the most famous architectural projects of Le Corbusier.

4. Lunch in the restaurant in the garden facing the Old Port (Vieux Port). Little sparrow looking birds will come and snatch your breadcrumbs. We lured one for a photo-op.

5. Calanque de Marseilleveyre (and Sugiton). Amazing white rocks that turn salmon pink in the sunset.
So many Calanques, so little time! Don’t forget to soak up the sun on the white pebbled beach or take a dip…

6. Notre Dame de la Garde — The church on the hill with a golden statue.

*7. Abbaye St. Victor — enter into one of the oldest churches in Europe, dating from the 5th century! I just spent my time there running my fingers lightly on top of the chiseled designs on the olden sculptures, signs, and tombs and wondered how they stood the test of time.

8. Watched a football match at Stade Velodrome!

It was the UEFA Europa league and the atmosphere was electrifying even for non-soccer fans, I was just staring, open-mouthed at the burly and super powerful looking, armed-to-the core gendarmes stationed at every entry point, they looked so suave!

9. The Corniche area — great views of boats, houses overlooking the coastline, white rocks. This is a long stretch of road on the waterfront where many people can be found doing a morning jog.

Cloud Yoga?

10. Well, just get lost walking the streets!

I spotted cute laundry, amazing street art, chic French ladies, many dogs, and old buildings with historical significance.

La Vieille Charité
Cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure de Marseille or Cathédrale de la Major
‘Oh look, honey, a Singaporean!’

In the Notebook:

La Caravelle is at 34, Quai Du Port, 13002 Marseille.
http://www.lacaravelle-marseille.com

Couchsurfing Marseille’s FB page
http://www.facebook.com/groups/33477637857

Marseille-Provence 2013
http://www.mp2013.fr

Sculpture of Milo of Croton by Pierre Puget
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milo_of_Croton

All photos taken by Rachel using Lomography Sunset Strip, Lomography Color 800, Rollei Black and White, Lomography Redscale; shot in Marseille, France.
Camera: Vivitar UWS (Superheadz)

written by spiritedly on 2012-12-28 #places #film #marseille #redscale #location #vieux-port #france #urban-adventures #chateau #corniche #le-corbusier #sugiton #milon-de-crotone #chateau-d-if #calanque-de-marseilleveyre #la-caravelle #couchsurfing-marseille

More Interesting Articles

  • A Study in Intimacy: An Interview with Mafalda Silva

    written by cheeo on 2017-01-23 #culture #people
    A Study in Intimacy: An Interview with Mafalda Silva

    Here's our interview with talented young photographer Mafalda Silva. Read on to find out what she has to say about her style, professional work, and why keeping your subjects feel at ease on every shoot is a great thing.

    2017-01-23
  • Top Shoutbox Users of February 2016

    written by lomography on 2016-02-26 #news
    Top Shoutbox Users of February 2016

    Aside from browsing through beautiful photographs and reading interesting articles, hanging out in the shoutbox is another worthwhile activity to do in the community. Not only will you get updated on the the latest news about photography but you’ll also have a chance to share ideas, tips, and stories with fellow shutterbugs across the globe. The shoutbox is always brimming with entertaining conversation and it's all because of these lomographers.

    2016-02-26 7
  • The Best of Lomography Magazine 2016

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-12-31 #news
    The Best of Lomography Magazine 2016

    A new year is fast approaching, and while we're excited about what's in store for us, we invite you to have a look at this year's most trending content. This collection is based on what you liked on the Lomography website and on our social media, as well as favorites picked by the Magazine staff.

    2016-12-31
  • Shop News

    Stand up and stand out with the Lomo'Instant Murano

    Stand up and stand out with the Lomo'Instant Murano

    Brighten up anybody's day with the quirky color combo and all around creative potential of the new Lomo'Instant Murano! This vibrant new member of the Lomo'Instant family is available on it's own or with lenses!

  • The Women Building the History of Fashion Photography

    written by Ciel Hernandez on 2016-03-09
    The Women Building the History of Fashion Photography

    There are two things a woman can do with the camera: be on front of it, or behind it. Join Lomography's celebration of International Women's Month by learning more about ladies in fashion photography.

    2016-03-09
  • First Impressions of the New Jupiter 3+ Lens: AM Renault of Yamanaka Yuko

    written by phyllistc on 2016-02-29 #people
    First Impressions of the New Jupiter 3+ Lens: AM Renault of Yamanaka Yuko

    Photographer AM Renault is a core member of Yamanaka Yuko and Six Dimen Boy. He is deeply in love with nature, a thing he always intertwines with photography and design. This time, Lomography is honored to have AM Renault shoot with the New Jupiter 3+ Art Lens. What's more, one of his photos has been chosen as the cover of the product package.

    2016-02-29
  • Top Shoutbox Users of March 2016

    written by lomography on 2016-03-25 #news
    Top Shoutbox Users of March 2016

    Aside from browsing through beautiful photographs and reading interesting articles, hanging out in the shoutbox is another worthwhile activity to do in the community. Not only will you get updated on the latest in photography, you’ll also have a chance to share ideas, tips, and stories with fellow shutterbugs across the globe. The shoutbox is always brimming with entertaining conversation and it's all because of these Lomographers.

    2016-03-25 3
  • Shop News

    Get 20% Off on your favorite Lomo Instant Mini camera!

    Get 20% Off on your favorite Lomo Instant Mini camera!

    Start instantly immortalizing every memorable moment in your life with your very own Lomo Instant Mini camera now! Get 20% off on the Lomo Instant Mini edition of your choice! **The Lomo’Instant Milano, Lomo'Instant Mumbai, Lomo'Instant Lake Tahoe, all Lomo'Instant Automat edtions, and all Lomo’Instant Wide editions are exempt from this offer.

  • Petzval 85 LomoAmigo: Utku Öztürk

    written by merveengin on 2016-12-10 #people
    Petzval 85 LomoAmigo: Utku Öztürk

    This months LomoAmigo is Utku Öztürk, who has been passionate about photography for the last 10 years and recently had the chance to test out the New Petzval 85mm Art Lens. If you want to get to know Utku more and see the shots he captured with the New Petzval 85 keep on reading!

    2016-12-10
  • Stay Focused: A First Time For Everything

    written by Lomography on 2016-04-03 #news #gear
    Stay Focused: A First Time For Everything

    You won't believe what we have in store for you with the launch of our newest mystery product. What a crazy idea, they thought. It can't be done, they said. But at Lomography, we know that there's a first time for everything. So we've decided to travel back in time and have a quick look at some of the unbelievable ‘firsts’ of photographic history. Could these milestones have anything to do with our mystery product?

    2016-04-03 12
  • How Traveling and a Petri Compact Made Me Fall Back in Love with Photography

    written by Ma. Virginia Parra on 2016-04-12
    How Traveling and a Petri Compact Made Me Fall Back in Love with Photography

    Because here’s the thing about film photography that I doubt a digital camera can give you: Permanence, photographs that truly and literally stay with you, not just in a physical form but also in your head and in your heart.

    2016-04-12 1
  • Shop News

    Capture the signature Ultra-Wide-Angle Lomo LC-Wide look Instantly

    Capture the signature Ultra-Wide-Angle Lomo LC-Wide look Instantly

    Capture more and save more when you buy the LC-Wide Instant Bundle. Get 50% off the original price of the LC-A Instant back, and get the LC-Wide Instant Kit for FREE!

  • The World According to Herr Willie – Polar Flight to the North Pole

    written by wil6ka on 2016-12-13 #places
    The World According to Herr Willie – Polar Flight to the North Pole

    With my visit to the polar station of Ny Ålesund I already got a taste for the far north. But eventually I wanted to get a piece of the real thing. So I went on a journey straight to the North Pole, 90° latitude and a point, where every compass goes cuckoo crazy. It was remarkable.

    2016-12-13 7
  • Vintage Camera Reviews: Kodak Bantam 828

    written by Mark Hannah on 2016-06-01 #gear
    Vintage Camera Reviews: Kodak Bantam 828

    I first discovered vest pocket cameras while searching for folding cameras and I fell in love with the design and compactness of them. By far, my favorite vest pocket camera is the Kodak Bantam 828.

    2016-06-01 4
  • Lomography x dancescreen 2016 Rumble

    written by Lomography London on 2016-04-29 #news
    Lomography x dancescreen 2016 Rumble

    We have teamed up with dancescreen 2016 and FRAME: The London Dance Film Festival to offer you the chance to win tickets and a LomoKino. Just submit your dance and movement-themed photos here! Read on for full details.

    2016-04-29 2
  • Find Out More About