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But wait, there's more!

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Aix-en-Provence

A fairly typical village in the Luberon region, not far from Aix-en-Provence. This and the view of rampant poppies were taken during a spur-of-the-moment tour that began while perusing ads in the Tourist Information Office. The coming visit will find me with several (better) cameras at the ready.

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Six nights

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I love petanque (boules), always played studiously but with a lasting camaraderie—often in vacant lots or in parks whose designers are wise enough to leave great stretches of hard earth over which these metal balls may be skillfully lobbed. Scoring is precise, of course, but chatter with friends remains mellow. These are people whose forebears probably played in the same place over several generations.

Captured during another trip to the Luberon, this stone face recalls the time when nobility repaired to fine (protected) estates on the hilltops, leaving the more exposed but fertile valley floors for their peasants to till.

Aix-en-Provence surely has the most lively as well as lovely farmers market in the whole of Provence. Vendors cope with daily assorted visitors as well as regular customers, in the same spot of this town square day after day and week after week. I do not clearly recall this gal here giving samples of honey to eager kids... but the grand plane trees? Oh, yes, they were here before.

Above and to the left are photos of Cassis, several miles beyond Marseille towards the southeast. We have a fondness for the place, although too-overt catering to the whims of tourism has discouraged our returning there.

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Ribbed vaulting detail of  the Cathedral of San Sauveur. The lofty nave is noticeably peaceful within, the only sound coming from the massive 18th c. pipe organ (if you're lucky enough to be present during practice for the next day's concert). A beautiful cloister is adjacent, and a baptistry whose sunken font dates from the early sixth century. The structure was built atop a Roman forum, whose artifacts may still be examined, through windows in the floor.

Our apartment is shown here. What a pleasure to discover an available habitation such as this: entirely furnished according to Provençal taste, with nary a stick of IKEA items to be found. It's a splendidly nostalgic site for our last week in Europe, 2024.

You may get the impression we love this very special city...

At the end of this heavenly week, two thoroughly tired Americanos will settle into a cab for the hour's drive to Marseille Airport. Thence an AF flight back to CDG (Paris), where we'll board a Delta nonstop to Seattle, then home.

Whew.

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