Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Apartment Shopping, Glacier, and our visit to Palais Longchamp

Chris and I have been quite busy looking for an apartment lately. We are going to view one tonight that we think is "the one"! The pictures are amazing, and I'm sure we will love everything about it when we see it. The good news is that it's not through a real estate agent (no fees and we don't have to pay the full 8 months up front) the woman renting it speaks English! I'm very happy!

We haven't done much otherwise over the past few days. Sunday we lounged around. Monday, we took a walk along the port during the afternoon. We saw some men playing petanque (bocce ball). It was a coudy day over the Mediterranean, but still beautiful.

Yesterday, we decided to have lunch at Pizzaria Maga...I have yet to have Provencal pizza...but unfortunately, we got there too late (3pm). Lunch in restaurants and cafes are served from noon to 2pm. Then food is not served again until 7pm. You can order drinks anytime, anywhere, but not food.

We found a little cafe called "Tarte Julie" that was serving tarts, so we ordered a couple of slices. Chris had one that was a tarte with onion, anchovies, and herbs. Mine was more like a quiche with egg, chicken, lemon, and mint. They were very good, but we were still very hungry after finishing. We ordered a chocolate tarte for desert that came with the most amazing vanilla glacier (ice cream) that I have ever had! It also had British cream on the plate. I had to refrain from licking the plate clean!

After lunch, we took the tram over to the neighborhood of the first apartment to get a feel for it. The neighborhood was eh, and it really made me think that we really don't want to live in that area. We really do love the tramway here. It's so clean, easy, and fast! Marseille is working on adding more tram lines.

Next, we went to the Palais Longchamp. This is one of my new favorite places here in Marseille! At first glance, I was awestruck by the huge entry, waterfall, and interesting statues. The place had a very ancient feel to it. It was actually built in 1862 as a water tower for the Durance River being led into Marseille. You can read about the history at

We walked up the steps, past the grand entry way, into the park. There use to be a botanical garden and a zoo on the grounds. The zoo was done away with years ago, although some of the cages are still there. Now it's a huge park with different trees, and waterfalls.

There were a lot stray cats around, and a few people feeding them (the older Marseilles people like to feed the stray cats, so none of them look malnourished).

We found a couple of trees changing color, which made me very happy since I'm missing Fall in the US. We found a small carosel with a few children and, I kid you not, they were playing "Let's Get it On" by Marvin Gaye! I had to make a video of this so people would believe me, but not sure how to post the video on here. It was hilarious!!!

We saw an older man with a Conestoga wagon led by a pony, with two ponies tied to the back. He seemed to be giving free pony rides around to children.

There were lots of families in the park. TONS of adorable French babies!

After we finished with our walk, we came back home and relaxed before dinner. Chris cooked a duck breast (my favorite) with some Spanish green beans. The rest of the evening was spent chatting online with Chris' parents and I did a little knitting.

PICTURES can be found at