Allez Marseille!

Donald McLean
July 29, 2013

As I said in my last post, I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d have the time to write one more post before leaving France, but I had to make time to talk a bit about Marseille. Marseille, as many of you know, is the second largest city in France. It’s a port city located in Provence, about an hour’s train ride east of Arles, also famous for being the early setting of The Count of Monte Cristo. IES went there for our weekly excursion this past Friday, and I have to say, I loved the city.

Having spent a few days in Paris and not really loved it, I was a bit nervous to go to another big city, but I’ve come to realize that I probably didn’t love Paris because it was an extremely stressful time for me in general. I thoroughly enjoyed Marseille and the general big city vibe.

We started the day by walking around and seeing a few places: a church, an old hospice, and a few other places before eating lunch just off the Canebière, Marseille’s large boulevard that cuts through the city. Think of it as the Marseillaise equivalent to the Champs Elysées. We then went to an art museum that had four original Van Goghs and other Impressionist era paintings. Afterwards, we had about two, maybe two and a half hours to wander around the city. Now, obviously, this being the second largest city in France, we didn’t get to see but so much. We mostly stuck to the 1st and 2nd arrondissements, including the Old Port, but we did wander into the 3rd by accident looking for a CD shop that my friend recommended. Apart from just wandering around and seeing the city, I got some official gear of the soccer team, Olympique de Marseille (called OM), and hung out at a café with some friends. We also went into a cell phone store that happened to be showing a replay of the FC Bayern and Barcelona game from a few days back, so that was nice to see, even if just for a few minutes. The city was absolutely magnificent, though, and I loved every second.

A fairly sizeable group stayed the night in Marseille, and while I was slightly regretting having not done so as the IES bus was leaving the Old Port, I woke up this morning grateful that I didn’t stay. It was a long day yesterday, and I’m still feeling the effects of the heat and of having been on my feet for hours on end. I had to take a nap earlier today, which isn’t something I normally do.

In short, I loved Marseille, and if I ever come back to France, it’s where I plan on going. Anyway, this is most certainly my last post before I leave on Wednesday, so I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. I’ll make one more post after I get home, but this is me signing off from France.

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Donald McLean

<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Miller McLean, and I am a rising senior majoring in English and French while minoring in German at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, but have always wanted to get out and see the world. At school, I am involved in the German Club, the Culture Committee, and the pre-law organization Phi Alpha Delta. In my free time, I like to read, write, and play music. Since beginning my French studies in high school, I have taken an interest in foreign languages and cultures, and I hope that my stay in Arles will help expand my world view and improve my knowledge of French. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that France will offer me, and I hope you enjoy my posts about my journey!</span></div>

2013 Summer 1, 2013 Summer 2
Home University:
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
French Language
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