Monday, April 10, 2017
South of France

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to summer –  why not join us on the fabulous Amalfi Coast , in Provence, or Amsterdam?

Here we are, back home in Aix en Provence (by the way, there are still summer weeks available at Ambiance d’Aix if you’d like to enjoy the South of France for yourself!) – and what should we see but a fascinating vintage carousel set up by Good King René at the top of Cours Mirabeau? Now there are carousels at BOTH ends of the Cours! This one is such fun to watch, with its beautifully crafted pieces – a vintage mini-steamship, a biplane, and more…. there’s a designated line for those who want to ride in the rocket, which rises as the carousel circles, so that the occupant is above the ornate top, looking out over the bustle of the street  – oh would our younger grandkids love this!
We’re always looking for new day trips to recommend to our renters, or to include on our Music and Markets Tours based here, and have had Martigues on our list for a while – so off we go, heading west around the Etang de Berre beyond the Marseilles-Provence Airport. We’ve seen photos of the town on Instagram, and as we walk into the historic center from the waterside parking lot I’m in search of what I remember admiring on the web….not this (yet another town that’s the “Venice of….”- in this case the Bouches -du-Rhone Department ), or this, pretty as it may be. Years ago, when we were shopping nearby to furnish our apartment, a restauranteur told us we had to see the “Mirroir des Oiseaux” the Mirror of the Birds, in Martigues…I imagined it was a pond or lake in the countryside, but no, it’s that photo I’ve seen on Instagram – right in the middle of town! Yes, this, is the prettiest spot in Martiques, for sure. I’m glad we’ve seen it, but I wouldn’t choose this as a day trip – not enough to enjoy here.
We take the long way home, around the Etang (salt-water lake), and wind uphill, intrigued by a walled village above – St. Mitre les Remparts. Is there anyone home? We see scarcely a body in the entire hamlet – just the curious cat above!
So now we’ve seen Martiques for ourselves…and another village, previously unknown. There’s always something waiting to be discovered!