Our second stop in the Provence region was Aix-en-Provence (I always get confused with French words – you pronounce it ‘ex’). Having just come from Marseille, one of the poorer cities in France, the traditionally rich, clean and touristy Aix was quite a contrast. Thankfully winter seems to be a slow period for this little town, so the beautiful little streets were quite empty of tourists, and I spent most of the day just wandering and taking photos.
Something about the pristine side streets, the rustic buildings and stone fountains, the way that all paths seemed to lead back to the same place – with hardly anyone around – made it feel to me like I was on the set of a movie. It reminded me of Bruges in its other-worldliness.
On the second day we went for a hike at Montagne Sainte Victoire, the mountain that featured in a series of Cézanne’s paintings. The trail we chose was not the most interesting, but we did get some lovely views of the mountain and Lake Bimont.
- Hue Cocotte, a cute restaurant in the town center was one of the highlights of our stay in Aix-en-Provence. ‘Cocotte’ refers to casserole dishes, which all of our dishes were served in (including dessert!). The friendly owner/waiter sat down with us to explain the menu which was all in French, and recommend us some wine. Not cheap, but really lovely food.