Monday, April 19, 2010


VIVE la France! On est arrivee a Marseille and we are not just bloddy tourists. We are having a personalised visit of this incredible city with our guardian angel- Antoine, a real marseillais!
Even though we pop in to have a great view on Marseille from ultra turistic Notre Dame de la Guard, it 's beacause Antoine' s mother Marie Jose lives just beside, in the lovely and lively quarter Roucas Blanc. I could not resist to say hallo to the mother ( and meet a real marseillaise lady!)

She won't be photographed, so we only immortalized ourselves with Antoine in front of his family house, an old castle like residence with inmense garden gone wild. Impossible to imagine an 80 years old lady ( it' s a wild guess, as to my question about her aged she answered ' just turned 35!) as its only resident.
All of us could not resist the invitation for aperitive. In this marseillese house it was
gewurtztraminer, of alsasian origin. For non drinkers-grenadine and cakes.

The tour in Marseille would never be complete without another magical meeting. ANDRE, the brother of ANTOINE greeted us from the balcony of his house!This is how we met a luthier!
Andrè lives in a charming old house with breathtaking view down to the sea and the isle with a castle of Monte Cristo.

This is a view from the window of his loft.

Serendipity again: Andere and us have another thing in common. He is a tanguero too, a founder of the tango association Les trottoirs de Marseille! He drinks mate ( the picture above) and even speaks some Spanish! There must have been an Argentinean beauty influencing him, I guessed. Rightly so.

The two brothers are real characters, separeted for over 30 years by the oceans, since Antoine left at the age of 21 to Reunion and then to Australia, while Andre had been developing his lutier career.

As a consequence,Andre invited us to his luthier atelier, downtown. Very charming walk during which Antoine told us stories about his childood and youth in Marseille.

I hope to return to Marseille next year and pay an unexpected visit to Antoine' s mother and Andre in Roucas Blanc. That s why I took this photo.

The luthier's workshop was superb and full of magic! Our 3 cameras did not resist the excess of charm and collapsed- very soon we had either no batteries or full card. Only few fotos were taken, the rest in our heart's hard disc.

Andre expained each etape of the prodution of violin.

or other string instruments ( mandoline, celo etc)

This one was probably the only machine in the worskhop. Everything else is hand made!To make the indentation inside of violin requires days of carving in the wood.
In about 2 months an instrument is ready.
Besides the luthier's workhop there is a small concert hall, where Andre organises soiree musicale inviting different musicions and music groups. He himself is a musician. And hopefully he had not forgotten how to dance tango. Shall meet on the dance floor one day.

We left Andre to his work and our guided tour in Marseille continued with Antoine, Louise-Anne and the kids.
Roucas Blanc is a genuine quarter of Marseille, but you have to be really fit to walk around.Antoine actually runs around his own quarter. He uses to do the jogging crossing Perrier quarter down to Prado beach. Which he made us do with him...
The views are compensating the effort, though.

Notre Dame de la Garde is always somewhere emerging in between and above the city silhouette.

No pictures of Antoine' s ' secret passage ' to Prado. Our cameras were out of service so we only took mental pictures..... And great physical exercise, as we walked from Prado all the way up to Roucas Blanc to our car.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

que despelote de lugares, como sabeis disfrutar y encontrar las maravillas del mundo....Yo por aqui de super abuela y tambien disfrutando de los paisajes de esta isla gotland,que me ninguna manera me olvido que venis a ibiza, os espero con muchas ganas, y pasare por ese lugar de jesus a me queda tiempo para escribir, os quiero , la tia....