Destinations / Dejection agreeable / Marseilles
Short trips to Marseilles - The second largest city in France after Paris, Marseilles is capital of the Provence Alpes - Cote d'Azur region, but really has little of the finesse of the French Riviera and is all the better for that!
A salty old Mediterranean dog, Marseilles long has a reputation as a seedy and gritty commercial port city with a strong character and a shady past. Associated with gangsters long ago, the city gained worldwide recognition in the American film, "The French Connection" with the brilliant actor, Gene Hackman. These days more associated with gastronomy, Marseilles is the home of superb seafood and highly prized "bouillabaisse", a delicious fish stew and mouthwatering "moules mariniere". Nearby, the town of Cassis produces a marvellous white wine, a perfect partner to the fresh fish and seafood dishes.
The city is crammed with atmospheric historical buildings and, port side, the skyline is a jumble of lovely terracotta coloured stone and red roofs. The busy dock area has a traditional fish market and is a huge melting pot of nationalities where exotic bazaars and souks are reminiscent of north Africa.
A great climate, tempered by the Mistral (a local wind that blows over 90 days per annum), is a distinct advantage for visitors and makes shopping and sightseeing a very pleasant experience.
A lovely city of art, museums, galleries and historic buildings, Marseilles preserves a marvellous heritage and was designated European Capital of Culture in 2113. The other claim to fame is, of course, that the National Anthem of France is called "The Marseillaise".
Aer Lingus operates regular flights from Ireland direct to Marseilles.