Late July 2016
Aix en Provence, France
As I gathered the photos for this post, I realized that nearly all of them were about music or markets – no wonder we were inspired to name our tour company Music and Markets while here in the summer of 2002! The charms that drew us then still do! Although my delayed flight kept me from arriving in time for the market today, there’s still music right next door, and even though I’m jet lagged, how can I resist? As I listen to the wonderful Stoneleigh Youth Orchestra, and their guest soloist, I walk around and take in the beauty of Saint Sauveur Cathedral, pausing in the oldest part, the baptistry, its Roman vestiges combined with elegant additions through the centuries.France is experiencing a summer heat wave, which means I’m out early for errands on Friday – walking by the post office I notice many windows open to draw in as much cool air as possible before shutting tight in the heat of the day. Our shutters are still open, but will be closed as soon as the burning sun hits them.
The market looks more beautiful than ever, and once again I’m amazed that this bounty and beauty is spread out EVERY day, just steps from Ambiance d’Aix!I stay inside til the air cools a bit, then enjoy an evening walk, circling through the buzz of restaurant – filled Place Cardeurs.Saturday morning the BIG market returns (three times a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, it spreads throughout multiple squares and streets, but there’s a produce market on Place Richelme every day).
First stop, the flower market, then home to plop them on the mantel, and out again to shop for lunch and dinner before walking to meet Kirk, who flies in today. These zucchini beignets, plus a fragrant melon and paper thin slices of prosciutto will make a perfect welcome-back lunch.
One stall after another begs for a photo – look at me, look at me!Here’s my haul: this bowlful of yumminess will do just fine for lunch and dinner, no?Sunday’s full of more Aixoise charms – an afternoon concert at the church, a stroll to Pavilion Vendome with friends before dinner at our house, then a walk to Jas de Bouffan, Cezanne’s family estate, for an open-air showing of The Horseman on the Roof, some of which was filmed right in Aix.
More market bounty awaits us, delicious for both eyes and mouth, at a Monday night dinner at a neighbors home, and the next day vendors tempt us with more summer tastes and colors. Just loving life in Aix en Provence!