October 8, 2008

About Marseille

Marseille is a two-hour drive from Cannes under normal circumstances. Our appointment at Chateau Sylvaine was set for 12:30 pm. but because we didn’t know exactly WHERE in Marseille it was, we left our hotel at 9:30 am. The autoroute is not twisty and turny because it doesn’t follow the coastline, as does much of the autostrada from Genoa to the Italian-French border, so we arrived in Marseille more than an hour early.

We had both visited Marseille before. It is the second largest city in France, boasts the country’s largest port, and celebrated 2,600 years of history in 2000. An American consulate used to be located here and it was the nearest place to notarize documents and the fastest place to renew passports. The classic joke about Marseille is, "What is the second language spoken in Marseille?" The answer: "French", in recognition of the large Arab-speaking population of the city.