[FR] Vacation in the south of France Part 1: Marseille

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by k-c-p, 28 May 2015.

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  1. k-c-p

    k-c-p Member

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    Bonjour,

    I have spent a week in Marseille to visit the city and do some trips to other cities in southern France. Aside from a lot of sightseeing, I managed to catch some tram and railway pictures. I will start my report in Marseille. After arriving in Marseille I bought a 72h tram-bus-metro pass, dropped my bags in the hotel and started the (metro) sightseeing trip.

    Rubber-Métro

    The Métro network consists of two lines (m1 and m2). It went into service in 1977. The trains run on rubber tyres.

    A train in "my" station "Joliette", which was located a 5min walk from my hotel.
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    The interieur design is more functional and vandalism-resistent than actually beautiful
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    The overpass at "Castellane" station of line m2 offers a nice view down unto the tracks
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    A picture takes from the steps down to the platform.
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    This train will terminate here and return outbound, because servicse through downtown were suspended due to a suicide attempt. The annoucements put the information in some nicer words: "Suite d'un incident independent de notre volonté ..." / "Due to an incident beyond our control...."). Very tourist-friendly (and pretty uncommon in France): The announcements were in Frensh and English. Simliar to announcements at SNCF rail stations, they began with a jingle.

    On the outskirts of Marseille, the Métro runs overground section. After leaving "Bougainville" this train of line m1 runs down the ramp and heads towards downtown.
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    Impressions from my favourite overground section in the vicinity of "Malpassé" station
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    From an architectural point of view, most (old) stations were pretty unimpressive and relatively dark. But decide for yourself: Joliette station.
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    In contrast station "Blancarde": newer, brighter and a lot more spacious
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    Some stations were decorated with artwork. As "Joliette" is located in the old port quarter, now revitalized as the "Euromediteranée" quarter, the artwork pays reference to its ship heritage
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    Stone mosaics and light art in "Vieux Port" station
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    A reflection on the "real" trains running above: Artwork of a TGV in "St Charles" station
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    A peak into the Métro tunnel at "Vieux Port"
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    The stairs at "La Fourragère" reminded me, that some stations are pretty deep below the surface
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    Enought about the métro. The tram is next.

    Tram

    The tram network has two lines. A third one was in testing when I was there. It is supposed to enter revenue service end of May. The trams have a unique design. In the beginning I was a bit skeptical, but in retrospect I liked it. Looks much better in reality than in pictures ;).
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    "Noailles" (T1) station is the only one below the surface. A single track tunnel connects it to the next station "Eugène Pierre" (The tunnel is a remainder of Marseilles old tram network).
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    The tram has left "Eugène Pierre" and runs into the tunnel heading to "Noailles"
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    The tram returns ;)
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    Sharp contrast to the special design of the trams: The station have a no frills look and feel.
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    A look inside the tram. The seats are hard as hell and the back forces you to sit straight. Tinted windows in combination with blinds protect from direct sun light.
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    T2 approaching its terminus "Arenc Le Silo"
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    Just ouside my hotel: The T2 in the "Euromediteranée" quarter
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    Looked really nice after dark
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    T2 makes a turn in front of "Palais Longchamps" and heads to "La Blancarde"
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    The "Palais Longchamps". Children were bathing in the basin of the fountain. I cannot blame them, because the temperature rose to 26°C that day.
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    Tram running along the Boulevard Longchamp
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    Nice paint job ;)
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    "real" Rail

    A mixed bouquet of pictures taken in St Charles, Marseilles main station.

    I really, really, really like the design of the class BB 22200 locomotives
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    It shows its beauty next to a TGV
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    Train quartett: TGV, BB 22200, AVE and diesel power
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    Lowcost meets International: Ouigo to Marne la Vallée and the AVE to Madrid side by side
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    Since May a regular guest in Marseille: The Eurostar.
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    The facade of St. Charles
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    Trees in the station hall
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    The stairs down to Boulevard Nédelec
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    Testing, 123, Testing ;)
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    Sighseeing

    I want to wrap this up, with some sightseeing pictures. It preside over the city: The church "Notre Dame de la garde"
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    The inside is worth a visit too.
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    The square in front of the church offers a great view over the city of Marseille. The old port
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    A landmark: The stadium
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    The sea
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    The bus ride to the church is an adventure: A little bus runs along small, winding roads. As it is crowed as a box of sardines, no need to hold on ;).

    An eyecatcher by day and by night: The Mucem.
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    Right next door: The "Villa Méditerranée"
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    The cathedral "La Major" and the triangle-shaped "Musée Regards de Provence"
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    The "Major" at night
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    Art in the "Euromediterranée"-Viertel. Title: "It takes two to tango".
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    Mirror art at the exit of Métro "Vieux Port"
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    Whenever I see these, I cannot believe that these things still exist in France
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    Nice to look at: The court building ("Palais de Justice")
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    A three-master for the rich
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    A have to quote Monty Python on this: "This is an Ex-Parrot". The zoo of Marseille closed in the 80s. A few years ago, the cages were "revitalized" with models of animals in flashy colours
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    My favourite: The Crocodile
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    A surprise on the return trip: A track closure (following a derailment of a freight train), required a detour via Strasbourg for the trains running between Francfurt to Paris. So I managed to catch an unusual guest: An ICE in Strabourg
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    This concludes my little report about Marseille. I really liked the city and can highly recommend to go there to visit. I am looking forward to you feedback.

    Adieu
    Charly
     
  2. HilversumNS

    HilversumNS Member

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    30 Apr 2015
    Excellent pictures, merci bien.
     
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