3 Trains and a Night in Aix

Trip Start Oct 31, 2012
1
5
12
Trip End Nov 11, 2012


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Flag of France  , Provence,
Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sami and I journeyed by train from Barcelona to Aix-en-Provence. This was the longest leg on the train, collectively nearly 7 hours. It was wonderful to have this time to catch up on sleep and prepare for a full emersion into the French culture, as there was not a word of English spoken on the train.
It was helpful that we sat beside a father and son (the little boy about 5), as the father went through the alphabet, some arithmetic and other elementary subjects that were, humorously enough, even too advanced for our level of French.
The countryside was beautiful and we were glad to have chosen to take the train so we could have this experience.
Upon arriving in Aix, a young woman helped direct us to our hotel. After realizing she had led us in the wrong direction, she ran about 2 city blocks to catch us, and breathlessly walked us all the way to the correct location. First impression: the people of France are very friendly and hospitable, then we realized that she was just visiting ;)
We checked into our hotel which was as charming as this little city and right on the main road, leading to a picturesque fountain (one of many).
It rained this night but we still explored the maze of cobblestone alleyways which provided great entertainment and window shopping. We came to a great little spot, a wine bar, that showcases one winery a month from the local region. This spot was owned by a very nice, self proclaimed "business man" and world traveller. His side kick was the "French Chase Williamson" (see photo) and were both very helpful.
For dinner we stumbled into an Italian restaurant (go figure) filled with many locals. Included in this group was an elderly couple who engaged us in conversation which lasted the full duration of our meal.
The food was amazing and consisted of a rustic, fresh vegetable lasagna, baked and served in a deep cast-iron skillet. We also had a delicious fire roasted pizza with big chunks of mozzarella, some type of fish, and home made sauce. The couple, of whom I just spoke about, informed us that they live outside of Aix, but come to this restaurant once every 6 months, for the last 4 years. She was a doctor, and he was a Yoga instructor who was VERY passionate about his cheese. He gave us a few of his favorites and recommended we get them the next morning at the weekly outdoor market.
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Comments

Jonnie on

Good to know that I have a husband in France. ;)

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