Saturday, March 16, 2013

Aix-en-Provence


Travel Friday was sunny, chilly and windy in the South of France, specifically in the beautiful area known as Provence.

 Today's Destination
Aix-en-Provence

Founded in 122 B.C. by Roman General Caius Sextius Calvinus, who named the town Aquae Sextiae after himself, Aix (pronounced ex) originated as a military outpost.

It would eventually become a civilian colony,  the administrative capital of the late Roman Empire, the seat of an archbishop, and official residence of the powerful medieval Comtes (Counts) of Provence.

It would prove to be a colorful,
gorgeous city indeed!

It had to have a Fountain

Duck Ride

Cezanne was born in Aix-en-Provence

He made the surrounding countryside immortal through his paintings.

These markers in the cement mark the path
of the Cezanne Walk throughout the city

If I read this correctly, Cezanne
was born in this building in 1839

Tempting but No

I started the exploration with a stroll down Aix-en-Provence's main street, the magical Cours Mirabeau.

Be Strong

Not Open Yet

Uh-Oh . . .

Over a century old, Bechard is known to be the best bakery in the city. It was worth a look I suspected.

Quiche Roquefort

Only 2 Euros and I had not eaten breakfast. That and an apple cinnamon pastry was all I needed to fuel my morning.

Bechard Pasteries . . .

. . . looked good . . .

. . . VERY GOOD

A Store for Art Lovers

What is that in the middle of the street?

It's an artsy, mossy fountain.

One of the great things about these lovely French towns is the art filled architecture. Let's take a look at some of Aix-en-Provence's best.

Damn Pigeons!

This is the first statue I've seen with chiseled arm pit hair included.

 On Guard

 Weathered

Local Hero

Great Beard

Hanging Out

The Sun was brilliant today

Inventor of the Spiked Hair look

Spew

Lion Basking

Important Bust

King Medallion

 Aix-en-Provence is much more than
a One Star city in my opinion

Knocker

 KEVIN!!!

Come Blow Your Horn

We play the Aigles in
Chambéry on Sunday

On Watch Duty since 1833

What were they selling?

Love these Advertising Murals

 Blue is nice

 What's a Byrrh?

Faded

Girls Lunch Date

Good King René
King of Naples
Comte of Provence 1434-1480

Cool Seed Pod

Hey, A CHURCH!

Francis Ford . . .

Good Triumphs Over Evil 

Church Assistant

Romantic Streets

 Laundry Day

Back Tire Issues

 Apartment Garden

More Laundry

These strawberries looked very good

Lunch Meeting at a really good spot

Olivier Rival who runs the French American football website at sideline.fr and is France's foremost expert on southern French geography, arranged a lunch meeting for me with Gabriel Maginier who is the Head Coach of the Junior team for Aix-en-Provence's American football team, the Argonautes.

Wine was part of the deal but of course!

Gabriel feeding my angelic Lunch Date

Salome Maginier

Only five years old and already a heart breaker.

In addition to the wine, we shared a fine pasta and veal dish, a delicious chocolate dessert and, of course, a café.

Salome and her Dad, Gabriel

We had a great lunch and, surprisingly,
talked a lot about American football

We have tentatively set up a return trip to Aix-en-Provence this coming May to have a coaching clinic for the Argonautes' coaches and players.

Should be fun!

After lunch, Gabriel suggested that I walk two blocks, turn right and "get lost in the streets."

 So I Did

 Nice Chimney

 Rock Annex

 Old Establishment

 "One Day One Purse"

I think that this is Laurie's mantra.

Laurie would be SO fashionable in these

They would definitely help her break the magic five foot tall barrier!

Outdoor Tables are still available

Ah, the Countess

 A Cuban Barbershop!

This city has EVERYTHING!!!

Fountain on a windy day

An Ian Murphy Girl

Specializing in Oils

Another Church

Lantern

Aix-en-Provence has lots of religious art overlooking many street corners.

Like . . .

The Blue Madonna

 The BVM

Pilgrim

Bishop and a Boy

No comment.

 Caged Madonna

 Bishop sans Boy

No Comment.

Pink Madonna

Blue Store Front

Don't ask, you had to be there

Tea Shop

Alchemy, really?

They sell FOIE GRAS!!!

I like the color blue

Cathédrale St-Sauveur

Aix-en-Provence's cathedral is dedicated to Christ the Holy Savior. It dates from the 4th century A.D. but it has undergone countless renovations.

Entry Arch

 St. Andrew, one of my favorites
The Original X-Man

 St. Michael
Another Favorite

 "Every Woman's Crazy
'Bout a Sharp Dressed Man!"

Sun Dials need to make
a dramatic comeback

 On the Arch

Three Minions

St. Denis?

Cathédrale's Cupola

Cathédrale's very modern Main Altar

What the . . .

Cathédrale's Artsy Light Bulbs

 Musée des Tapisseries

Not enough time to visit the tapestries today, maybe in May.

How could the evils of World War II
have touched this idyllic city?

Jacob's makes a sweet croissant
as it turns out

Just another peaceful place

Could I possibly be
getting hungry yet again?

 I was strong in the face of adversity!

To sum up, I have now visited the following six cities in the South of France (some were even in Provence) Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Avignon, Nîmes, Marseille and Orange.

All of these beautiful cities have a lot to offer for a tourist but I would have to say that Aix-en-Provence is my favorite. I can't wait to go back with Laurie in tow later this Spring.

Today's blogpost was brought to you by the number . . .


As in I'll be enjoying a four day weekend in Paris just 21 days from today!

Ah Paris . . .

Perhaps the world's most romantic city, you just never know what fascinating person you'll meet in the City of Lights on a long weekend like the one I have planned.

It could prove interesting INDEED!!!

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Beautiful city, wonderful post!