The last two weeks in Marseille have been sunny. It is nice to finally have nice weather which reminds me every day how beautiful south of France is. The city is more alive with people spending time outside at cafes, children playing outside, teenagers hanging around the neighborhood, and everyone at the beach. Since it’s been so nice, I have been going running to the beach. The route to the beach is my new route not only to going running but also feeling the city vibe. Since I live close to the downtown, I run through the streets until I reach the beach, which about 6 miles both ways. Reaching the beach is my reward; and the beautiful turquoise- colored sea is completely satisfying to watch. I often think about the Pacific Ocean beaches in Oregon when I see the beaches here. However, I always notice the deeper colors of blue and green. The water is so clear that it’s almost invisible.
At first, I ran through this route by the big roads because it was easy to run without getting lost. It seemed inconvenient due to the crowd of people pooled on the streets. However, I started enjoying the crowded streets. I started noticing the beautiful architecture, the scent of the bakery, the scent of roses from the flower shops, the coffee bean smell from the coffee shops and of course the cigarette smells. Every scent triggered for me a different way to feel Marseille. Running through people, cars, the wind opened me up to see the life in the streets. The dirt, the diversity, ancient architecture, and the sun are what make Marseille so special. It is yet another reason to feel grateful to understand and study the life here. The exercise and the journey to the beach are really therapeutic, I must say.