The GoGlobal Blog

Les Premières Adventures

Les Premières Adventures

Bonjour mes amis!


Saturday we spent the whole day in Marseille, which is about a 30 minute drive from Aix-en-Provence. We had absolutely fabulous weather and a day filled with sightseeing, shopping, and more than enough walking. We started out at the highest point of Marseille, at Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, and were able to see an incredible view of Marseille along with the beautiful basilica. From up top we could see out to the Chateaux d’If (where Monte Cristo has some scenes) and then headed down for lunch at Restaurant Saf-Saf. The cuisine there is from the Maghreb (mainly North Africa) and focuses on couscous. Yum! We all enjoyed ethic food and tried some new tasty desserts (one even tasted like nutella! score!). Overall everything was super delicious! After lunch we were free to walk around Marseille to explore and shop. We came across an gorgeous carousel and some street musicians playing by the dock, and later passed some more beautiful buildings and churches too. Marseille has a very different feel from the quiet streets of Aix and is well worth the drive over. Marseille is not only France’s largest commercial port on the Mediterranean but also the most popular point of entry for African immigrants. Hopefully, we get another chance to visit Marseilles and maybe next time hit its Mediterranean beaches!

Notre Dame de la Garde

Le Chateaux d’If

Couscous toppings


Street Musicians

Church Exterior



Sunday was open-air market day! After having the chance to sleep in a little after all that walking and left-over jetlag, we hit the markets. First stop was the arts and goods market lined up along the Cours Mirabeau in the center of Aix. I bought a beautiful hairpiece (and then had to go back for two more, oops! But they were just too awesome to leave behind!) and a small piece of painted artwork to hang on the wall . After the art market we moved on to the second-hand book market. You would never even imagine how many ancient books are just out there for sale! From French literature, to history, to childrens’ books, and anything else you can think of, it’s all there. I’m not even a big book fanatic, but this market had me sucked in! We even bumped into our professor scouring for some good reads that he hadn’t come across yet (the book market being possibly one of his favorite events in Aix – and hey, at least you know where to find him on any given Sunday!). On the way back towards the Cours Mirabeau for some lunch we conveniently walked right into the fresh produce market on the Place Richelme. It was incredible! The vibrant colors and the intoxicating smells were to die for! I ended up buying strawberries and raspberries to bring back home, but it was all so tempting! The whole day was a relaxing and wonderful French cultural experience to enjoy right before our first day of classes 🙂 Hope all goes well when the professors get there hands on Frenchifying us!

Art market

Flowers at the produce market

Fresh French bread!

Fruit and veggies at the produce market, yum!

Spinach, tomato, ricotta tart with balsamic dressing I ate for lunch (so delicious!!!)

Edouard et Maelle Ice Cream (it’s a must!)

Street musician at the book market



Monday was our first day of class and boy was it different than your standard American college class. After finding our class assignments posted on the walls, we wandered the hallways like all of us have done many times before, searching for our classroom and hoping not to be late. My class turned out to be made up of 13 students, 6 or 7 of whom are Russian, and the rest is a mix of Korean, Taiwanese, Brazilian, and Syrian – so we really rely on our French to communicate. With the slight language barrier, the scorching heat, plus the lack of air-conditioning in the school (and our residence for that matter) my class is one diverse group of eager, sweaty, slightly confused individuals haha. Our professor, Charlotte, could not possibly be any sweeter and is incredibly accommodating to our interests and needs. As always, our first day was filled with some get-to-know-each-other activities followed by some evaluation worksheets, granted I’m sure I’ll be getting my butt kicked rather soon with some intense French. Being in class today was a wonderful and revealing experience. Just the group of people plus the dependence on French and a lack of air-conditioning makes for a school-day much different from any I’ve had before.

Until next time!

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