A Month in Provence 2013

Aix - La Rotonde

Jim's Blog of his time in Aix-en-Provence, France during May, 2013. Time and
weather in Aix:
Click for Aix-en-Provence, France Forecast

In French, "travailler" means "to work". In English, "to travel" can also mean work if the journey is long. Vivien and Bethany decided to take me on a scenic tour on the way from Venasque, where we stayed for the weekend, to Carry le Rouet, where we spent the night in Bethany's fabulous home with her two resident cats (mother and daughter) and one itinerant cat who only comes by for meals.

Stayed in most of today, as the weekend was so active I needed some down time. Slipped out to retrieve a sandwich, a diet Coke (an infrequent taste - they don't appear to have Diet Pepsi here, or at least I haven't seen any). Also picked up a chocolate tart, like a little pie with a rich chocolate filling, but not pudding, more like a dense mousse. Napped and read much of the day, but went out around 5 to snag some quite good lasagna (a serving of vegetable and one of meat), and of course some wine, for Vivien and me for dinner.

Got back into the routine today with breakfast at the Book in Bar around the corner. Afterward, walked about for a couple of hours, including a walk through one of the many marchés (markets) in town - this one near the Hôtel de Ville, or city hall. Took a few photos so you might get the flavor [ahem] of the place.

Not much news for today. I walked far and wide, twice, had lunch at my favorite little cafe, and a gelato on the Cours in the afternoon.

Carole, familiar from my earliest postings, had returned from visiting her family in England and Vivien had invited her to dinner in the apartment: delightful sautéed fish, leftover veggies and lentil salad that Heike'd brought last night, and fresh strawberries with ice cream for dessert. And more good conversation.

Friday Vivien is taking me on a driving tour of Les Baux de Provence. Photos then, but none today.

Adieu!

A special treat today as Vivien drove to Les Baux de Provence, a rugged mountain citadel dating to pre-Roman times. There we went to a "spectacle" - the word used on signs - held inside a huge former limestone quarry.

Started the day at my favorite bookstore/cafe with my favorite breakfast, which the people there start preparing when I walk through the door - a nice homey feeling. Afterwards, walked up to the courthouse marché, which had expanded beyond the square to surround the large building. Did some last-minute shopping for stuff to bring home, and returned to the room to rest.

The end of this wonderful visit is creeping up on me. I feel I should be ready, even eager to return home, but the experience has been so rich in new friends, in a "new" environment that's thousands of years old, in new foods and customs, and in a satisfying improvement in acquiring a new language, that I don't feel ready to leave. Indeed, it seems as though I just got here, and am leaving too much unseen, unexplored, unsaid. A positive spin would be that these paths untrod leave me more than ready to return.