A Day in Aix-en-Provence

8 Oct

One way or another we have been busy lately, not really clear how or why but I’ll definitely be looking for a way to stop it happening too often!

We have had a couple of outings to report on – a walk near Le Luc which was organised as part of ‘Walking in the Var Week’ and a day trip to Aix.

We have also had more sanglier visits but they are not doing large amounts of new work each time.  I think their purpose now is basically to taunt me, to say, ‘we can get in any time we want so up yours!’.  Frustrating to say the least.

Anyway, before I lose the plot and start on something else instead of finishing this (it has happened before) I will move on the the pictures.  Enjoy!

This guy caught my eye when I was in the garden because it looked like it was carrying a golf ball. The egg sac must have been 10mm diameter so you can see how big the spider was from that.

We joined a group of locals for a two hour walk to Les Bories de Vaulongue taking in some ruins and nice views.

This is one of the ‘Bories de Vaulongue’. Not much space inside – about 3mx1.5m and this was the larger of two at this location.

Most of the interior, the entrance is on the left.

Quite good views towards the NE from the summit.

On the top of the hills, where the walk looped through vineyards, the grapes had not yet been picked. By contrast, they seem to have finished all around us about a week ago.

This was at the intersection of the track we had just walked and the local road. The green and white painted symbol indicates that this is a documented public walking trail. The top one says something like ‘Reserved Hunting Area’ and the other you can probably figure out as well as I can. So what would you do? I am glad we were with a group of locals including a leader from the mayor’s office!

Also known as the city of fountains, Aix is a lovely place. This is at the lower end of Cours Mirabeau, the main street.

It is looking like Autumn. I didn’t realise until I got this image on the computer that the chestnut I had zoomed in to was not attached but hanging by its stalk!

Since I am currently ‘collecting’ pictures of doors, windows and knockers, I was just overwhelmed by the offerings in Aix. They are everywhere. In the end I had to get very picky about which ones I would pause at for a snapshot otherwise we might still be there.

I saw some magnificent knockers in Aix.

The Saint-Sauveur Cathedral claimed to represent every architectural style from the 5th to the 17th centuries.

The Baptistry in Saint-Sauveur is several steps lower than the aisle and is ringed by 1st century Roman columns. That’s old!

Looking directly down the barrel of Saint-Sauveur. They have two identical looking organs and while we were there one was being played, I guess in preparation for a wedding. Flowers were also being arranged. Everywhere you looked here there was not more of the same but always something completely different.

This young lady is Elodie Martelet. She was playing covers at a tiny square in Aix and sounded awesome. Jazz, blues, folk, rock. Just great. The guy on the left was sitting on a box-like drum set up and he was producing a whole range sounds worthy of a full kit. The guy on lead guitar was sounding so much like Clapton on ‘Unplugged’ that it really made you pay attention. She had a 5 track CD of covers for sale and it sounds excellent.

At the Mairie we found the door open which we usually take as an invitation to come in and have a look around. Even saw 3 people walk out of a corridor on the first floor, so we walked in. Didn’t look like much more than access to the toilets except for one smallish door at the end with a sign above it roughly saying “Room of the States of Provence”. It was very dim, the shutters were closed, so the image is a little grainy but all the same you can see the splendour! We managed to retreat before being discovered and thrown out too. Bonus.

This is French ‘dried sausage’. The picture is a bit dark because the light was blocked by the swarming flies that I fanned away to get a clearer view. But this is normal and the stuff tastes very good. Well, usually. There are lots of different flavours and some are better than others. The Dept. of Health in NZ would have a blue fit if they saw food being sold like this. So far I have never heard of anyone becoming ill from eating it.

A traffic jam in the market.

The Pavillon de Vendôme was completed in 1665 and is surrounded by carefully manicured gardens. An ideal spot for a bit of a sit down.


3 Responses to “A Day in Aix-en-Provence”

  1. Sarah October 15, 2012 at 18:28 #

    We stayed in a hotel just down the street from Pavillon de Vendome a few years back, lovely peaceful place. Did you see the old Roman baths nearby? It’s now a luxury spa, so nothing’s changed really.

    • bikernz October 15, 2012 at 19:44 #

      In fact we did see the Roman baths but didn’t get inside. As you mentioned it is a posh hotel now.

  2. Jeff October 10, 2012 at 03:17 #

    You did not mention that Aix en Provence is famous for its incredibly chic and attractive women 🙂 Perhaps Leanne was looking over your shoulder when you wrote this!

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