Marseille & Aix en Provence: could have done this better, or not at all
Oh dear, that doesn’t sound too optimistic does it?
Honestly, it was enjoyable, but I think I could have done it much better with some more foresight. There were one or two missed opportunities that could have been better taken advantage of!
In Nice, Patrick and Claudio (the Italians who taught me to drink espresso, haha) had almost convinced me to waylay my France plans and simply spend my summer weeks on the Italian coast! Ohhh I was so tempted, and in hindsight wish I had – regardless, I had a blast in France.
Originally, I had no plans to come here. It was only really a base from which to explore the calanques (gorgeous sea inlets) and Aix en Provence.
Turned out to be quite an interesting place in itself! Similar in architecture, and it had a sprawling old port with hundreds of boats, though definitely not as glistening as the Riviera ports. The whole place had an air of organic mess. Does that sound bad? There was much more Arabic than French spoken. In fact, had a great Moroccan meal and good Irish pub banter (one of the only ‘happening’ places we came across). The hostel owner was totally odd but entertaining, and Aaron the frat boy American played tour guide.
Aix en Provence
Coined as a beautiful town full of old stately mansion decadence, cafe culture, colourful markets and Cezanne, Aix en Provence was a huge drawcard. Made the daytrip with the gorgeous young French Canadians Marie-lou and Stephanie.
We had actually really wanted to get out to lavender and flower fields – the idyllic swaying scenery that Provence is famous for. Unfortunately, the lavender harvest was already over, and local buses just did not work out for us! My one regret for Provence – but oh well! Had a great day at the market stalls and learning about the influence Picasso and Cezanne had on eachothers’ work.
As much as I enjoyed this pretty place, the Loire Valley (next post) was in my opinion much more gorgeous!
Enjoyable? Of course, all my travel is! I wouldn’t call them essential stops though. It was time better spent as extra days in the Riviera, Loire Valley or Paris I reckon.
Still hugely behind, but more posts on their way!
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