Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi!

We're new here - stumbled across the forum by accident and it seems like a good place to be.

We're thinking seriously about a move south to Marseille - doing a trip there late next week. Is there anyone on here that's made the move there? Any hints and tips gratefully received.

Thanks

R&J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for such a prompt reply, Thom. The immediate questions are what's forecast for the end of next week? We look daily at the webcams on the Marseille site and everyone seems well wrapped up. Is it likely to get any warmer? What are the winters like in Marseille? Is this year exceptional or, if it does get cold like this, how long does it last?

Still on the weather, is it very humid in the summer months? I read something about it in one of the many things we've been looking at trying to gather background information.

We're staying in the New Select Hotel and have seen mixed reports about the hotel and the area. Do you know what they're like?

Are there particular areas to avoid or be careful of? We lived in London for 10 years before making a crazy move to East Anglia so we're used to cities. That's one of the reasons for looking at Marseille - to get back to a more cosmopolitan life that doesn't stop at 1730 in the evening and last orders in restaurants at 2030. Are we correct in assuming Marseille buzzes into the evening?

Thanks

R&J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Thanks for such a prompt reply, Thom. The immediate questions are what's forecast for the end of next week? We look daily at the webcams on the Marseille site and everyone seems well wrapped up. Is it likely to get any warmer? What are the winters like in Marseille? Is this year exceptional or, if it does get cold like this, how long does it last?

Still on the weather, is it very humid in the summer months? I read something about it in one of the many things we've been looking at trying to gather background information.

We're staying in the New Select Hotel and have seen mixed reports about the hotel and the area. Do you know what they're like?

Are there particular areas to avoid or be careful of? We lived in London for 10 years before making a crazy move to East Anglia so we're used to cities. That's one of the reasons for looking at Marseille - to get back to a more cosmopolitan life that doesn't stop at 1730 in the evening and last orders in restaurants at 2030. Are we correct in assuming Marseille buzzes into the evening?

Thanks

R&J

Ok no problem. I have lived here since October, but I have visited various times before for holidays as my Fiancé is from Marseille. I will try to answer as best I can!

Weather-wise... it is very chilly at the minute, as it is across a lot of Europe. I think this isn't a normal occurrence. It is due to get better tomorrow and Monday. The best website I use for the weather is Meteo marseille (13000 - FR) - 1er site meteo pour Marseille et la Provence - previsions meteo à 12 jours gratuites - Paris weather forecast My parents are visiting me next week, so I too have been checking the weather forecast regularly and it looks more positive. I would still bring the coats, hats and scarves however, as the mistral (cold wine) looks like it could pick up through the week.

Generally we get 300+ days of sun per year. It starts heating up from April onwards, and stays warm well into November. I was wearing a T-shirt in early December last year, although I'm not sure that is a normal occurrence. It does get very humid during the peak summer months. It really isn't a place to live if you can't handle a hot climate.

I have looked up the hotel, and it is located just off a famous street in Marseille - The Canabiere. Although they are trying to renovate the area in time for the Capital of Culture year in 2013, it still isn't that great at night. I would suggest getting a taxi if you fancy eating out in the evening, also because the nicer restaurants are a little distance away. It should be fine during the day however. Just take the usual precausions you would take in any large City.

I live in the Endoume area which is situated just south of the Vieux Port. I absolutely love living here, and I would very much recommend it to you as an area to consider. It has a village feel to it, even though it is very close to the city centre and the coast. The area has a lot of history, with St Victor Abbey, Palais de Pharro and Notre Damn de le Garde in close proximity. It feels very safe and quiet at night and I have no problem with going out at night, or my Fiancé walking home alone after work - something I never felt living in London. The area also has beautiful areas of coastline, with the small fishing harbour of Vallon des Auffes, Le Petite Nice and Malmousque.

One thing I would say is Marseille is a very unique city, unlike anywhere else in France. It has a very unique culture - mainly due to the incredible history and different nationalities that live here. It is very hard to describe breifly in this post however, and you really have to come and send some time here to understand it. I think it is a very magical place, but others may disagree! There isn't a great deal of English speakers and people will expect you to speak French, so I would reccomend getting the French up to scratch before moving over, if it isn't already.

I keep a blog about living here at Englishman In Marseille . Some information on there may be helpful for you also. Any other questions you have, please let me know.

All the best,

Thom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you so much for that, Thom. Brilliant stuff! I've bookmarked your blog and will have a good look at that. Skimmed some of it already but we both need to look at it.

Thanks for the info about the weather. One of our reasons for moving is needing a warmer climate for our health.

Thanks, too, for the heads-up about the area. You've confirmed some of what we read so we'll be careful. We'll also take a look at your area. It sounds good.

I'll mention the language thing to my husband. My French isn't too bad but rusty. His is very limited. He's got the book and the CD but ... I'm doing a daily French quiz on the about site and also reading short stories to nudge my vocabulary. A couple of glasses of wine will see my fluency improve :)

We appreciate the time you've taken to reply and if there's anything else that's a burning question I'll take you up on your offer and repost.

Best wishe

R&J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Map of Marseille

I've visited the meteo site - very useful and not just for the weather.

The other question I have is about maps of Marseille. I searched on Amazon for street maps and found something at an exorbitant price. Is there an A-Z kind of map for the city and where is it available? I don't want us wandering around obviously staring at a big fold out map and looking like tourists but something like an A-Z could be useful.

Thanks

R&J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Yes no problem. There is a tourism office at the bottom of The Canabiere near the port where you can pick up a free map and guidebook in English. The wind is pretty strong, but very sunny for the next few days. Enjoy your trip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for that, Thom. I've made a note and will also hang onto everything with the forecast wind!

Read the piece you did for the Telegraph, by the way. Very useful. Sounds as if you can't get anything past the Marseillaises - no matter how much you try to appear knowledgeable!

We're looking forward to our trip. Last minute finishing off things and packing shortly for an early start tomorrow.

Best wishes

R&J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Many thanks. That piece was a little rushed, but I think it got the point across.

Cracking day for you here! Wind has dropped and not a cloud in sight. Have a great time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
We had a great time in Marseille, only slightly overshadowed by my not being well most of the time and ending up in hospital the day after we came back. Just got out last night.

We were amazed that the sky really is as blue as you see it in the pictures. And the sea ...

We loved the friendly helpfulness of the people (tourist office excepted, I have to say) and are looking forward to our next visit as soon as we can. It was wonderful to walk along streets where no-one barged into you, people said 'Pardon' if they wanted to come past you and said 'Merci' when you let them past.

All in all, we were won over by the place. Yes, I agree with your comment, Thom, that you do need to speak French. We were never stuck but I didn't like having to ask people to repeat things or speak more slowly. So, stepping up the French immersion so that we can do better next time - DVD soundtracks in French help keep up with spoken French.

Did the bus tour to get a broader impression of the city and saw Endoume on the way round. Want to explore more of the villages on our next visit.

Thanks again for all your help.

R&J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Glad you had a good trip. Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well. Yes the weather has been wonderful the last week or so.

Also good to remember that next year is the European Capital of Culture year so there is a massive program of events and all the renovations will be complete. The whole of the Port will be pedestrianised from next month onwards, which will make walking around there a lot more pleasant.

All the best,

Thom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Knew about the European Capital of Culture thing and saw various works going on towards it. Didn't know about pedestrianising the Port. That will make a huge difference. So glad we were there to see the mimosa on the flower stalls.

We also wandered round the Noailles market to look at the produce available. Fresh peas and broad beans in February and at a good price - wonderful! Next time I think we need to do self-catering so that we can really get amongst the produce.

The more we saw of the place, the more we like it. Hoping to revisit in May and again in July. I think that second one's imperative to judge the humidity levels. We enjoyed the February sunshine. It makes a big difference to creaking limbs.

Thanks again

R&J
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top