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Off to Aix

Rain in the night, a cloudy sky in the morning. AND much more noise on a daily basis than we are used to, living in a rural area in Eastern Ontario surrounded by a dairy farm. The traffic noise starts around 6:00am and the church bells chime in at 7:00 - almost like Paris, but I suppose I shouldn't comment - after all we're in the south of France.

We have decided to go to Aix today. We like Aix a lot, especially on a market day - Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. We followed the back route recommended by Bob & Sue Winn in Provence Byways - buy it - the booklet is worth the price for this tip alone. Arrived shortly after 10:00am - I had talked my companions into a seafood dinner with purchases from the Aix market - parked at Parking Picasso on the top level & made our way through the market squares to the Cours Mirabeau - bought some Michelin maps for next year's trip to either Corsica or the Dordogne - maps that seemed so out of reach and expensive at home are at arm's length and inexpensive here in the south of France. We strolled along this most beautiful street, stopping at the Librairie de Provence bookstore, where we met up with an ex-pat Canadian from Vancouver who has relocated to a small village near Mont Sainte Victoire. She and her husband and son have been here for a year - love the life, despite the bureaucracy, and recommended an English-language bookstore - the Book and Bar, just off the Cours Mirabeau - great place! - more complete description to follow.

Lunch at Le Grillion on Cours Mirabeau - very busy compared to most other places on Cours Mirabeau, since they offer a light lunch - a salad and a beer, for example - compared to the formule offerings at many other restaurants. Even the venerable Les Deux Garcons had many empty tables at lunch.

My plan was to make our way back to the market area and make some seafood purchases that we had agreed upon on the way down. BUT I had thought the market closed at 2:00pm - wrong again. It closes at 1:00pm. We arrived back in the market just as the last trucks were pulling away and the municipal workers were hosing down the squares. Lesson learned - make your purchases early at the markets.

Back to Ansouis and over to the HyperU at Pertuis to buy meat and veggies for supper.

"Bonjour Ladys" at the boulangerie next door at 4:30pm, where I bought dessert - une tarte almandine - a big hit later with my female companions.

On Skype to make reservations over in Lourmarin tomorrow for dinner and to talk to my brother up in Chateauneuf de Mazenc. Rain at 6:30 - dinner at 7:00pm.

And, oh yes, some wine.

An early evening.

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