The South of FranceAix and around
Mon-Tues, July 30-31, 2012

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!  Join us on our featured (and expanded!) summer Amsterdam/Belgium tour!


Sometimes it takes a while to get out of Aix, but for good reasons… such as being stopped in the adjacent square by neighbors as we’re on our way to get the car. One asks us to stop by for an aperitif this evening, and another joins us for a chat. We’re watching a stage being set up in front of the Archbishop’s Palace while we talk – what’s going on? “There’s a spectacle tonight because the Woodyards are back” our neighbor jokes – ha!
We don’t often have a car while we’re in Aix, but since we had to drive here from Nice we booked a three day rental, which is relatively inexpensive and does not incur a drop charge for turning in in a different city (which a one- day rental would do).  So it’s fun to have the opportunity to visit out- of- town friends and favorite places outside the city while we have wheels.We drive east this morning, to the village of Trets where the friends we met at Chateau La Coste yesterday have rented a villa. We’ve often heard about Trets from our friend Xavier, who has a home there, and enjoy seeing it for ourselves – a few interesting squares, a plane-tree lined street or two, and a lively bustle.
The villa is quite a ways out of town, up,up, up a rutted dirt and gravel road, with a worth-the- drive view.
Kirk and Eric talk business, with Mont Saint Victoire in the distance,

while Marian and I relax in the pool.

Back in Aix, we go downstairs where our dear neighbor M. Farcy shows off the flower- filled courtyard, which we enjoy so very much out of our windows, then treats us all to champagne and a spread of delicious nibbles that make dinner unnecessary.

He decides to stay home, but Mme. Tomme, another neighbor and guest for this evening- and the two of us have heard the music starting – now we’ll find out what that stage we saw was for!
And we enjoy a terrific concert by the brass and percussion ensembles of the Young Orchestra of France, whose summer session in Aix we appreciated last year as well – but they didn’t perform right next door then – this is a treat!  By the end of the concert they have the majority of the crowd on their feet, clapping and dancing.
Kirk brought down a couple of our beach chairs so Mme. and I could listen in comfort 😉
These unexpected musical treats are a part of life here in Aix   – don’t you love surprises?!
Tuesday’s full of errands, then we’re off again in the car, meeting our friends Jean Marc ( of Rouge-Bleu wines)  and Kristin (the talented French Word a Day wordsmith) in Isle sur la Sorgue for dinner. This lovely village is half way between them and us (about an hour’s drive for both of us) and is such a pretty place to enjoy whether you’re buying antiques (which the village is famous for), or just strolling through.

As we wait, teams pole by in the flat bottom boats used in times past, practicing for a “celebrating history” weekend coming up.

We had such a good time talking that I hardly noticed what we ate – but do remember that it was delicious!

Finally stopped and took a photo of dessert – a pretty orange Bavarois.
Our first three days in Aix have just FLOWN by – we’re already figuring out when we can come back!