Monday, October 8, 2012

Le Blog Provençal- Pt. 1: Aix

With one more week until my courses begin here in Paris, pourquoi pas take a trip down South and warm my bones in preparation for the Parisian winter? Having an apartment found, a bank account set-up, a French cell-phone, and many daily-life details taken care of--I found every excuse to take off to the South before my Rotary Welcome Weekend and school begins.

Thus, what in seemed like minutes I was on a train (student fares here RULE!) and arrived to a drastically different vibe and situation--departing a busy Paris in a cold drizzle and greeted in Aix with warmth, sunshine, and people with ample time. It seemed as though I left New York and in 3 hours arrived in California..Oh, the magic of France continues.

Luckily for me, another dear friend from home- Emily (PTHS is very well-represented in Europe this year, I'd say!) is living in Aix-en-Provence this semester through Vanderbilt's program "Vandy in Aix." She studies and lives in a gorgeous house with 3 other Vandy students, a house which I quickly crashed, feigning that I was still in college, attending Vandy, etc. 

With Emily, after our first café in (sunny!) Aix

A glimpse of le Maison de Vanderbilt

It had been 4 years since I was in the South of France, and Aix--and, wow, what a beautiful place. Being back in Aix reminded me of wonderful times with my friend Martha and also my program through Millsaps in Nice. Coming from 3 weeks in Paris, I was quick to notice all of the differences in prices, language, attitudes, foods, geography. 

Aix is known for its numerous and beautiful fountains- the main street, Rue Mirabeau (shown here) is flawless--lined with the trees and full of fountains

"Cat Juggler" on the street

With Cezanne, his presence endures throughout the region, but most especially in Aix (near his studio!)

Fountains, continued (also, LOVED THE BLUE SKIES!)

Vin Provençal

Em and Me, in front of yet another fountain (de 4 dolphins)

Street near the Vandy House
Les Deux Garçons, hangout of Cézanne, Zola, Picasso, Pagnol, Piaf !

Aix was even more beautiful than I remembered! It was great to catch up, laugh with, and see Emily. I imagine many more visits to Aix to see Emily and her great roommates before her time there is over!

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