Le Grand Tour

Aix-en-Provence Travel Blog

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Walking through the streets of Aix

We awoke early to a gorgeous summer day and were relieved that we had been rewarded with this on our chosen tour day.

We boarded the bus at 9am with 10 others and realised that we had been lucky to have probably booked the last 2 spots on the tour. The tour leader was great - obviously he spoke in English so he must have been quite patient having to speak throughout the whole day in both French and English! The drive to St Remy du Provence was around 1.5 hours and allowed us to begin to appreciate the beauty of the region. The mountainous hills, the farms with picturesque original cottages, the lakes, quaint towns with distinct building styles and features and so many other small things that all added up.

We arrived in St Remy du Provence at 10.30am with 3 hours free time to roam the markets that filled the town.

Check out the paella! That was my lunch - yum :)
These markets were amazing - food: bread, wine, olives and oils, smallgoods, fresh meat and fish, fruit and veg, condiments, fresh herbs, cooked goodies plus plenty of handicrafts and the token crap that most markets have in spades.

This was fantastic - tried a few goodies, bought a few more, and made our way to the areas famous olive oil shop where we sampled a few different oils and made one or two purchases that we pray will make it home safely to Sydney in a few weeks!!

From here it was back on the bus for an hours drive to Avignon. Again the scenery was amazing but only exceeded by Avignon which was like a walled city. We were to visit the Popes du Palais (Palace of the Popes) and receive an invaluable history lesson at the same time.

The old church
The Palace was dated around and we learned that this Palace was created to house the Popes at a time where their residence in Rome would have been considered far too dangerous...It was a shame to see the result of the revolution diminishing the beauty of both the palace and surrounds. We were to learn that this was a necessary cost however and was far better than the alternative, being the destruction of the city through the locals.

Within the walls of the city there are buildings featuring similar architecture and there is such a contrast of the old and new that made this city such a fantastic place to visit. Amazing as it was - it was not the sort of place where you would choose to stay as in my view one could suffer from claustrophobia such is the sese of enclosure within the city walls.

The drive home was quiet aS we were all quite hot and exhausted and ready for a swim. We ticked this off when we reached the hotel - the pool itself being situated right next to the old Roman baths.

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Walking through the streets of Aix
Walking through the streets of Aix
Check out the paella! That was my …
Check out the paella! That was my…
The old church
The old church
The old and new
The old and new
The courtyard
The courtyard
Kathy striking a pose
Kathy striking a pose
Walking through history
Walking through history
Where the popes blessed the masses
Where the popes blessed the masses
A statue of Cezanne
A statue of Cezanne
The new church
The new church
Trying to be artistic with a crapp…
Trying to be artistic with a crap…
Not another ice cream!
Not another ice cream!
Gimme some...
Gimme some...
hmmm ... ice cream :)
hmmm ... ice cream :)
Aix-en-Provence
photo by: o_mendfornd