My week with Paris & the MuCem in Marseille


It’s been now 2 weeks I am enjoying some holiday in France.

I spend my first week of holiday in Paris: actually it is always a bit awkward for me to come to Paris – a city where I have some memories as I lived there for a year, and in the same time a city where I feel like a complete foreigner. So many things change: the people, the buildings, the shops….but the atmosphere remains the same. I still feel some tranquility and a very hectic lifestyle.

I really wonder how foreigners do not go crazy in Paris: there is so much to see, some people drive a crazy way, some can be very rude,  not all the directions are indicated (and we are not the best nation when it comes to speak English)…how can people find their way in a non-English speaking environment? I always get lost 1,000 times before I get a sense of where to go…

This time, as my visit was only for a week – I deliberately skipped the most popular highlights of the capital and kept only a few the places I enjoy spending some time, trying to stay away from the crowd (tourists & locals starting their Xmas shopping)

  •  walking in St Germain-des-Pres, wandering in St Michel and sipping espressos in cafés (it reminds me how much I love watching people)
  • enjoying some French pastries at G. Larnicol (awesome kouign amann ~ insanely good, but do not try if you are watching your calorie intake! it is a butter/ sugar bomb melting in your mouth!)
  • discovering “le bon marché” department store, which has kept the original spirit of the first department store of the 50s. I am not a shopping fan, but just the building is worth a walk. Lucky me, it was almost empty the day I visited so I had plenty of time to admire this beautiful building!

After my week ended with family & friends reunions; it was time for me to go back to my hometown in the south of France. I always feel a bit sad to leave Paris…there is still so much I haven’t discovered yet.I would love to spend one month just visiting & exploring the city (NB: which would be pretty expensive as I had the feeling the prices were as high as in London this time. Just to give you an idea: a quick lunch for 2 [2 salads; 2 espressos]  in a brasserie was €30 incl. service) Hopefully all the beautiful sights are free ~~ and I could walk the entire day 🙂

Bye bye Paris….see you next year!

I was looking forward to go to the south and catch some sun as usually the winter is very mild in Marseille area, and it is not rare to enjoy an afternoon tea sitting in the garden… I had been waiting for this time for a couple of months; looking forward to get some vitamine D!

Unfortunately, last week brought us a few rainy days ~ which did not give us much opportunities to enjoy the outside…

Luckily last Saturday we had a proper sunny day here, so it was the perfect timing to discover the latest museum opened in Marseille (which is the European capital city for culture in 2013): the MuCem. I was really curious to discover this museum, as it opened only in July this year.

The main building of the museum is built on the water and has several floors that are connected with a ramp. If you visit the MuCem on a sunny day, take some time to relax on the lovely terrasse facing the sea and the Pharo.

The entrance is very reasonable (€8 – full price), and the ticket is valid the entire day, so you can enjoy different places in one day (the museum got different buildings, with both temporary and permanent exhibitions). The permanent collection gathers a lot of objects about the different mediterranean cultures. Very interesting, and browsing very different aspects of traditions (religions, food, agriculture, clothing…) and also geopolitical issues.

The temporary exhibition we saw was about women rights and the perception of genders through the decades. Quite interesting and quite thought-provoking (might not be suitable for children).

Just make sure you pack some lunch; as the sandwiches at the cafeteria are a bit overpriced [€6 a ham&cheese baguette] There is also a nice restaurant on the top floor terrasse, if you are in the mood for seafood, it looks very fresh!

My visit to the Mucem really went beyond my expectations; we spent the entire day there enjoying the collections and had a very nice walk in the southern sun….


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