chez moi–43.2820°N, 5.3488°E–à la presqu’île de malmousque
J’écrivis cette première méditation (L’isolement) un soir du mois de septembre 1819, au coucher du soleil, sur la montagne qui domine la maison de mon père, à Milly. J’étais isolé depuis plusieurs mois dans cette solitude. —Lamartine, Premières méditations, I, Commentaire.
Le Malmousquin, 35 Rue Boudouresque (Malmousque) Marseille 13007. La ligne de bus est bien le 83 et l’arrêt c’est Endoume. c’ètait là où j’ai habité en octobre. Genial. Isloé. Tranquil. Parfait pour moi qui avait voulu échapper la vie quotidienne de Paris et de Valetta.
I chose to stay in Malmousque, a small former fishing village now attached to Marseille, because I had wanted to be isolated a little after leaving Malta. I wanted quiet. During the previous two months, I had been living in Paris and on Malta in its capital Valetta. Now I wanted a small town, but after a short bus ride to find myself surrounded by people, if I wished it. I had wanted good restaurants, too.
Each morning then after leaving my apartment, what do I see? What I see is often bathed by the morning light. I leave between 9:00 and 10:00. The sun shines most days. A tee-shirt is sufficient or an additional shirt sometimes is needed.
One afternoon leaving my apartment and turning left and left again, I arrived after a short walk at the eastern shore of the small peninsula. I saw the Anse de Maldormé, une des plages les plus fréquentées du quartier, and not too much farther the chic seafront villa Le Petit Nice Passedat with a Michelin starred restaurant. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)
Menu Passedat en 9 services–formule Déjeuner et Dîner à 250€ par personne. Menu Evolution en 7 services–formule Déjeuner et Dîner à 200€ par personne.
Imagine, if you will, that you are standing on the ramparts after leaving home and you pause for a moment and look out over the Mediterranean Sea. Each day that you pass here you see in the distance the Chateau d’Îf. Alexandre Dumas used the fortress for the setting of Le Comte de Monte-Cristo. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)
(“In a small boat he sailed around the island of Monte-Cristo accompanied by a young prince, a cousin to Louis Bonaparte, who was to become Emperor of the French ten years later. During this trip he promised the prince that he would write a novel with the island’s name in the title.”)
Boats bounce on the water; sometimes they rest still, the waters smooth and clean. Swimmers far from the shore break the surface, barely visible.
But look to the left. It is early in the morning, maybe 9:30. Shadows still cut the scene.
Think of the series of photographs above as a panorama and sweep to the right through each picture until you stop at the right at the La porte de l’orient.
To the left is where I have been living during the month of October. It is a small peninsula with small packed residences interlaced with narrow winding streets.
On the Mediterranean Sea is the Château d’Î and further out is the Frioul archipelago that can easily be reached by ferry.
To the right is the “creek” that leads into the Vallon des Auffes, a small fishing village with Chez Fonfon, known for its vraie bouillabaisse. Near the water with many windows is the Michelin starred restaurant L’Epuisette. In the distance is Marseille.
The Malmousquin is a wonderful place to stay. It has three small, well furnished apartments. Caroline Alphonse is an excellent host.