Summer in Aix 2014

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August 15 is the biggest holiday of the summer in France and Italy, Assumption Day, when Catholics believe that Mary was transported miraculously to heaven. Although the countries are not that religious now, the day’s still a great excuse for a final summer vacation, so the autoroutes are jammed with travelers heading south, and Aix is full of smiling visitors. We’ve been expecting more peals than we hear every day from the cathedral belltower, and as the bells sound, the faithful troop into mass.

Without fail, the market sets up, business as usual, the saucisson man offering nibbles of his sausages,

the vegetables arrayed as if ready for an artist  – we’re not the only ones stopping for a photo every day!

Le Bouddoir is one of the few restaurants that offer specials even on a holiday – most places clearly state that their “plat du jour” is available only for workday lunch. So we check out their three choices of the day, and happily enjoy a delicious meal from the smiling staff for the second day in a row.

Saturday brings the flowers back to the Hotel de Ville square,

and brides as well – I didn’t catch a photo of the happy couple in the square, but noticed the petals on the cobbled courtyard of the town hall, where the official ceremony takes place.

During July and August, each evening, and on Sunday during the day, booths of enticing treats line the Cours Mirabeau,

and after church we stroll down the broad walkway, tasting the spice cake, smelling the lavender, trying on the hats.

The latest exposition in the Gallerie d’Art du Conseil Général des Bouches du Rhône on the Cours is photography of artist’s ateliers, from Picasso to Warhol – the photographers often as renowned as the artists.

Recognize Picasso?

And here’s Pollack, caught in the act. This is a terrific little free gallery, provided by the Bouches du Rhone, which is the state or province within which Aix is found. Their motto is Ici La Cuture est Partout – here culture is everywhere. Just ONE of the reasons we love Aix!

We’ve reserved a table on the rosé fountain square that we like so much – have noticed this restaurant, l’Incontournable (the essential, this means, the owner tells us)

and are happy to find that the food is as good as the setting – with intriguing Asian flavors keeping our tastebuds guessing.

Then it’s back to the office (in the apartment) for Kirk, who’s continuing to work very long hours even on the weekend – we’re fitting in a bit of together time and fun in bits and pieces!