Another Side of French Living (Trip to Marseille)

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High School Abroad in France

Authored By:

Sophie C.

It's crazy that you can learn so much about French culture from just one city in France. In the past two months, I've learned the ins and outs of teenager life in France by living through days at school, dinners with my host family and basketball practices. This past weekend, I traveled to Marseille for three days to visit the city with other students in CIEE. Although it was just for a weekend, it was amazing to see another town with similar shops, cafes and streets.

On Friday morning we woke up early to take the train. Even though it was a couple hours late, we still arrived with enough time to visit the city and even got a little tour. We were staying in a hostel with the eight girls in one room. There was more than enough space for all of us and we had fun being all together. That night we went to a restaurant close to our hostel and had couscous and their homemade limonade. At the end of the meal, we also got to try their mint tea.

Our first full day it was raining, and only a couple of us remembered umbrellas so we arrived at the museum for our tour soaked. The museum was called MUSEM and we learned about the urbanization of Marseille as well as other major cities around the world. After we had some free time for lunch (and some rest back at the hostel), we met back together and went to La Savonnerie (a soap museum). Marseille is known for its invention and distribution of soap, so we were able to learn about how soap started and how it grew to what it is today. It smelt amazing, but the scent did give me a headache after a while. At the end of the visit, we got to make our own soaps and stamp them with ‘Savon De Marseille’. That day we also walked to a bakery called Aixoise and got to try their traditional biscuits of Marseille. They were a little different than I thought they’d be, but still good. We had our last night's dinner at Bobolivo. I ordered an eggplant and cheese lasagna and it was very yummy. 

Sunday morning we slept in a little later before we packed our bags and headed out for the day. We first visited the fish market of Vieux-port where we walked around and saw stands selling fish as well as food. After walking around, we went on a boat and toured around Marseille and other little islands nearby. It was a little chilly, but very pretty. We ended the visit with some free time for lunch before grabbing our bags and heading to the train station.

This trip was our last trip with the trimester students, because they leave next weekend. It was a little bittersweet, but it was a great weekend to end our three months together.