Saturday, November 05, 2005

Marseille

Yesterday (Friday) we took a school day trip to Marseille, the "Napoli of France" (not a promising title, given what I've heard about Napoli; Reid, the school director, pointed out that Marseille is the highest crime city in Europe.) I wasn't particularly keen on going myself, partly because I had been to part of Marseille on my trip to Corsica for the Rallye de France and wasn't very impressed with what I saw, and also because, yet again, I had started feeling better for a couple days then a little sick again (the whole yo-yo sickness thing is starting to really annoy me so I'm planning going to the doctor on Monday.) It turned out to be not too bad, since we went down to the old port which was a little nicer and more interesting than what I saw before, but others also commented that they wouldn't be planning a return visit to Marseille themselves either. Our first excursion was a ferry ride out to the Chateau d'If, an island prison (like Alcatraz) where many famous and infamous French prisoners were kept over the years. Its more prominent claim to fame, however, is being the site of Alexander Dumas' classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo, about an unjustly imprisoned man who eventually escapes from the island prison. It was a pretty interesting experience, though I was ready to go back to Lacoste by the end of it; unfortunately, we still had several hours to go. After this we split up and went out to eat. I fell in with our teacher Larry Lauria, Richmond, and Darius, and our meal ended up being an adventure in itself when Richmond found a fried cockroach in his first course. As Darius pointed out, "Fish don't have legs...Fish don't have legs!!" After a couple exchanges with the server we ended up with a resolution of the other three not getting their main courses or dessert but not being charged for what they had eaten (I had already ordered and eaten a small dish because I had previously eaten the sack lunch provided for the school) and just decided to leave at that point without pushing the issue. We looked around a little in the shopping district, then sat at a café and sketched until time to leave.

I just found out today that there was rioting in Marseille the day before we were there, a spillover from the rioting going on in Paris over the past week. Hmmm...


A tall ship in the old port of Marseille


Fish market; Marseille


Fisherman; Marseille


Rocky shoreline of Isle d'If; Marseille


Chateau d'If; Marseille


View from Chateau d'If; Marseille


Photography students Dana and Diana survey the view from the top of the Chateau d'If; Marseille


Window view of Chateau d'If; Marseille


A gaggle of SCAD students in the courtyard of the Chateau d'If; Marseille


Photography teacher Steve Aishman and Sarah in a stairway of the Chateau d'If; Marseille


Windowside carvings, Chateau d'If; Marseille


Robin on the ferry from Isle d'If; Marseille


Ferris wheel in front of the Cathédrale de la Major; Marseille


Sailboats in the old port; Marseille

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