Marseille has been fixed in my imagination as the seaside port depicted in Fanny, a 1961 film about a girl in love with a boy in love with the sea. It’s a charming film that captured my imagination in the way it depicted the coziness of small-town life vs. the tantalizing proximity of the wider world across the sea.
And here I found myself, sitting on the battlements of Fort Saint-Jean right at the water’s edge, where the rocks below spill into the Mediterranean. It was striking to me how easy it was to climb over the battlements and onto the rocks; there were no railings, no obstruction between the city and the sea.
Marseille was beautiful, quaint and quiet, the sea seeming more magnetic and ever-present than the city itself.