08 January 2011

First day of spring

Well, it's actually one of the first days of the year, but it feels like spring. While the northern parts of France and Europe are mostly worrying what to do with all the snow, and preparing for flooding, we are enjoying the first days of spring in Marseille. The temperatures reached almost 20 degrees, and the sun was shining and quite warm. So, after shopping on the open-air markets of La Plaine and Marché des Capucins, I went to my favorite square just around the corner, Cours Julien. This picture is from last summer:

I was having a thoroughly southern French day there: lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, Le jardin d'à coté, daring to order an entrecote à point. The restaurants, like all its neighbors, has extensive outdoor seating space. I was sitting in the sun, wearing a T shirt, watching children play, families eat, old ladies having wine and coffee, and harried waiters ferrying food out as fast as they could, because all of their 20 or more tables were taken. The guests were enjoying the sun, having a good time, and in no hurry at all. An accordion player was playing French chansons that could be right out of le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (great movie btw if you like Paris). These pictures are from today:

I spent the rest of the afternoon walking about town, the harbor, up to the panier with its narrow crooked streets up and down the hill, and downtown. The Christmas shopping crowds are gone, and there are no tourists at this time of the year. Their loss.

I think I'll start a little series in this blog on parts of Marseille and surrounding villages I have visited. The burning barricades, smoking garbage piles, robberies, and other excitements are behind us; let's pretend that 2011 is going to be nice. At least until they start burning barricades and garbage again.

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