One very awkward englishman, boldly goes…

Archive for November, 2011



Pastis is one of the most famous drinks that many associate with Marseille. For those not in the know, Pastis a creamy coloured liqueur which, served straight is usually around 40% alcohol. Pastis has an aniseed flavour, and is often served diluted with water, or mixed with syrup flavourings such as orgeat (Mauresque), mint (Perroquet) or strawberry (Rourou).


I have to admit, I wasn’t immediately won over by the taste last year. Pastis is often served as an aparatif, and I know I need to grow to love it before next summer- in order for me to be fully accepted as a true Marseilles (impersonator!)


Possibly the smelliest cheese…

After a particularly ripe camembert left its mark (and stench) in our fridge a week or so back, I felt I had truly experienced the worst smell French cheese could throw at me. That is until we were given the goats cheese pictured below… My flat now contains the pungency of a pair of sports socks worn by an Olympic athlete for every major competition in their entire career, without washing. Mmmmmmmmm. Tastes great though!


Notre Dame de la Garde

I am very lucky that the location of my flat in a mere 10 minutes walk from Notre Dame de la Garde, one of the most iconic symbols of Marseille. I took an evening stroll up there last night to witness sunset. The view is absolutely stunning, with panoramic views across the whole of Marseille.Below is a brief history on Notre Dame de la Garde, as well as a few photos I took.


Notre Dame de la Garde is situated at the highest point in the Marseille region, atop a 532 feet limestone hill to the south-west of the Vieux Port. The site is a Roman Catholic Basilica which was built on the remains of a 16th Century old Fort, built by Francis Ist of France to resist the 1536 attack on the city by the Emperor Charles V. The modern Basilica seen today was built-in 1864, and replaced a similar structure which dates back to 1214.  The top of the Basilica features a statue of the Madonna and Child plated with gold leaf.




Notre Dame de la Garde bears the scars of the battle of the liberation of Marseille from the Second World war. Bullet holes and marks can be seen littering the limestone walls around the structure.


The interior of the Basilica is absolutely stunning, with incredible painted ceilings and murals on the walls depicting the history of the basilica and the port of Marseille.



Free day

Had a free day today, so did a spot of fishing from the rocks new my apartment. No idea what the fish were called, or if they were edible so all were returned alive.




The Calanques

Interesting piece on the National Park plans for The Calanques



Sunset in le Pharo

Just spent a fantastic evening watching the sun go down in Le Pharo. Palais du Pharo has incredible panoramic views of the port and across the bay. Very special…






Great few days

Had a fantastic few days exploring the local surroundings with some stunning weather. Took a few pics below. Absolutely loving living here.