The Streets of Marseille

This is my favorite photo during my trip to Marseille. I don’t know the man in the photograph; I didn’t speak to him or get his name. I just felt like it had a story to tell. The buildings are aged and covered in the marks of time and experience. The white-haired man slowly worked his way up the stone street toward the unknown… at least for me.

Old Man in Marseille, France

Maybe he is heading home after a morning walk to the market. Buying something wasn’t his goal; he just strolled through the vendors and chatted with friends along the way. Maybe he’s walking to meet a companion and enjoy the beautiful morning in a park or to the city center to catch a glimpse of the entertainment before the bull fight. Maybe he is returning home after an evening with a lover. Age knows no limits when you’re a romantic Frenchman. The people of France seem to age so gracefully; he could have been doing anything. What’s your guess?

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50 thoughts on “The Streets of Marseille

  1. It’s his routine…a walk around the block (or a mile…Europeans are fit!) and then he meets his male friends at a cafe to discuss politics, sports…or to read your blog and guess where he’s going! Grin.

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  2. A guess of someone living in Paris:
    He had his morning cafe and maybe a pastis with ice, too, and is now heading home for a siesta.
    Guesses that contain more imagination are:
    1) He went to buy a newspaper but decided otherwise after seeing awful world news
    2) He walked to the harbor to see if the sea is calm, and now that he knows it is, he returns home to get his swimming suit
    3) He paid a visit to his wife at the cemetery
    Anything is possible!
    PS Enjoy your trip Lesley!

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      • Hi Lesley. My first-ever trip to France long time ago was to Montpellier. Since I moved to Paris (1999), I have been to the South at least once a year: Côte d’Azur, Avignon region (Luberon is fantastic), Saintes-Maries de la Mer, Arles, Toulon region, and Marseilles, too (did you have time to see Les calanques of Marseille?). And I got married in Corsica 🙂

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  3. What a beautiful pic. It reminds me of a similar scenario I had when I was on a trip in Paris. My friend and I were wandering the streets of the 1re arrondissement, and this old, kind gentleman approached us and asked if he could be our personal tour guide. So he took us to Jardin des Tuilleries…I’ll never forget that day or that lovely soul of a man who showed us the sights of his amazing home city😊

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  4. The man looks so dwarfed between the weary buildings. I guess they are both a little tired. I believe ‘Jacques’ has a routine at his age. People in Europe live their lives a lot differently than we do in North America. They don’t park their bones in a rocking chair waiting to time to pass.

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  5. Love this – makes me wish I lived somewhere with the beauty and history and color of these walls and buildings. Oh to be a ‘gracefully aging’ person in France. Thank you for sharing this.

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  6. this is amazing =)

    Maybe he is going for a long walk. Alone. silently, wanting to think. Leaving the sad memories behind entering a new different colorful world. wanting to do what he wants for the lat few years of his life.

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  7. Reminds me of my stay in Nice..I have a weak spot for Europe in general and walking among old buildings in different states of decay is one of my favorite activities. It´s even better when you get lost, from my experience that´s when you discover the true gems of the city. And I´m not talking about monuments, but rather moments..like the one you captured here.

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