Thursday, March 7, 2013

Old world charm

We went apartment-hunting yesterday. Well, technically, the agency here finalized three apartments that fit within the budget and we went and had a look. I was told there'll be six to choose from. However, Marseilles is the European Capital of Culture this year (along with KoŇ°ice in Slovakia). So owners are waiting for the festival to start so that they can rent out apartments at a higher price for a shorter term.

As we were driving around the city from one apartment to another, I found the architecture of the buildings very peculiar. I asked the agent when these were built. She said, " Umm...i think 19....." and I was thinking "Oh ok! Maybe around 1970s-80s." But then she says, "Around the 19th century." I am spellbound. How can a structure that old still be around? Ofcourse it's not like all the buildings are that old.

I ask how the buildings are maintained. She said that when the need arises, the insides are renovated but the exteriors are untouched. At the most, the shutters are changed, window panes are painted. It's more expensive to renovate exteriors. However, not all buildings are given a touch-up. Some were dark and grey from the pollution. I told her the scene back home in India. She said people in Marseilles want to have big, glass buildings. Erm...ok!

One of the apartments we saw is in Vieux Port. It means 'Old Port' and the apartment has a lovely view of the harbour. Now, the buildings here are fairly new, by which I mean post-war, built after this portion of town was bombarded during war. I don't know which but I am guessing WWII.

We had zero expectations, which shot up sky-high after we saw this place. The area is, well, like a marketing district of any other big city. We were given subtle hints by colleagues about this place. The agent suggested we make an opinion for ourselves. So last night, after dinner, we took the Metro to Vieux Port. It was lively enough, with open restaurants and people walking about. Not so bad! I think, subconsciously, we've already decided upon this place. Watch this space for THE VIEW. In the meantime, some pictures I took when we were driving around yesterday...

On Mondays and Thursdays, this pavement is filled with small time traders who
 put up shop to sell fish, meat, shoes, clothes, flowers, vegetables....get the drift.

Overhead line for trams crossing at Church


Aarti said...

Waiting for the view :)

Aarti said...

Waiting for the view :)

The Yellow Wall said...

So am I! :D