Sunday, March 6, 2011

Aix-en-Provence


As our trip to Provence was winding down, we took in the town of Aix (pronounce it "ex") en-Provence, just north of Marseille. The Cours Mirabeau is one of the loveliest streets in town, with the plane trees lining both sides, and fine houses and cafés staring at each other from each side.



Sometimes known as the city of a thousand fountains, the Romans were first drawn to this town by its thermal springs. One of the loveliest fountains in town is La Rotonde, constructed in 1860.



Even in the winter, the squares are lively, such as here in the  Place de l'Hôtel de Ville with its famous clocktower, 



and fountain built in 1756, which supports a Roman column.





A short walk away stands the Cathédrale Saint Sauveur, which is a mixture of styles from the 5th-17th  centuries. Beautiful cloisters from the 12the century grace the back of the cathedral.



Even in winter, color abounds from the blue skies to the Provençal markets,



to the beautiful linens.



And what's a trip to France without a stop at a sidewalk cafe--even if you are wearing coats?



Our trip wound down with a delightful lunch for all 17 of us and our favorite guide, David, who travels everywhere the London gals go. I'm kicking myself for not writing down the name of the cute restaurant where we lunched so that I could share it with you, but don't you find it as charming as we did?
Who would have thought that laundry on the line could be so very, very French?

9 comments:

  1. Europe just has the best outdoor markets, doesn't it!? This place looks beautiful, really picturesque :) I have (unfortunately) not been to France yet. I feel we are waaaay over due!

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  2. are the thermal springs still available?

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  3. Looks like you and the girls - and the brave David! - had a marvelous time. Aix really is a special place.
    Hope you have a fantastic week ahead,
    Mimi

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  4. Ahhhhh! What a wonderful time! Thanks for letting us tag along!

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  5. Wow what fabulous trip ... Aix looks a beautiful place to wander round .. with lots of friends ♥ I think the markets look brilliant!! Yes a very brave man .. with all you gals!!

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  6. Traveling with you in the future is going to be quite a challenge to find a place you haven't been but then what an awesome tour guide you would be if we ventured a repeat visit to some of these locations!

    Darling restaurant and the linens look so tempting! Great post as always, my dear friend!

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  7. You have me itching to get to France and England again...:) Great post!! xxoo

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  8. I have such a yearning to visit Aix. It is high on my list and your wonderful photos and story make me very impatient to go there! Thanks, as always, Debi, for a real treat. – g

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  9. Such beautiful places you have toured. This is another town that looks irristable.
    What a novel idea for a cafe - and you can do your laundry while you eat.

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