A Trip to Marseille

Brooklyn Kyrouac
April 16, 2018

Before I went to Marseille, I didn’t know much about it. Truth be told, there’s still a lot I could learn. However, the huge takeaway from our Marseille excursion was that it was founded by immigrants. This thought touched me as I compared the city to the United States and its own founding.

This very fact is why the people of Marseille consider themselves to be “Marseille first, French second.” This mantra bears heavy significance in a world where prejudices and nationalist views are so prevalent.

Something that also piqued my interest was what the tour guide dubbed “smooth” gentrification. In other words, there are 5-star hotels being built next to extremely low-income apartment buildings. This reiterates Marseille’s message that there is a place for everyone, and that everyone can coincide peacefully, regardless of class.

The diversification of the city can be easily seen in the restaurant scene. From Italian, to Mexican, to Mediterranean, Marseille had it all. If I’m writing about this trip, I have to include Au Falafel. I am not kidding when I say that I don’t think I will ever taste a better falafel. I may taste decent falafels, even great ones, but I will never have that amazing of a falafel again. This is coming from a girl who didn’t even think she liked falafels that much.

Not only did we taste amazing food, but we also took to the sea to explore Chateau d’If. The famous prison was the setting for Alexandre Dumas’ novel The Count of Monte Cristo. Although it’s now merely a historical landmark, the eeriness of the place rang throughout each corridor. This feeling was punctuated by the hundreds of animal bones the seagulls had brought over. One could imagine the hopelessness felt by people, a lot of them simply persecuted for being Protestant, who had been sent there to die.

 It was a very interesting and contrasting feeling I got to the one of acceptance I had felt before. It goes without saying that places, just like people, evolve and adapt throughout time. Marseille’s own evolution bares the lesson learned of acceptance. We could all learn a little something from that.

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Brooklyn Kyrouac

<p>I'm Brooklyn Kyrouac, a twenty year old junior who is extremely excited to go to Nice. I love to read and hang out with my friends. I'm a definite "yes" girl, and I take every opportunity that comes my way. A fun fact is that one of my thumbs is shorter than the other one.</p>

2018 Spring
Home University:
Indiana University
Terre Haute, IN
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