Nov 5, 2011
First things first: As I mentioned in the food post, we had our own apartment there, and it was wonderful. I can’t help but recommend this style of accommodations!! It’s so great to have your own private space.
The best thing about Aix-en-Provence is that there isn’t anything to do. What I mean by that is that there aren’t any “must-sees” that you’ll feel obligated to check off your check list! No Eiffel Tower, no Notre Dame, no Louvre! It’s great because you can just enjoy the natural charm of the city.
There was one day that we attempted to get out into the countryside via scooter…but that was unsuccessful!! Loooooooong story short, the scooter was the scooter from hell! There were half a dozen things wrong with it when we signed it out (which they apparently remedied when we complained), and then it broke down 3 times while we had it. This is mostly what our day with the scooter looked like:
But hey, regardless of it being a hunk of junk, I still wanted my glorious moment sitting on it…
Needless to say, with the scooter catastrophe behind us (for which we did not pay!!), we rented a car the next day and drove to Avignon and Gordes. Avignon was our first stop, and it was chilly but nostalgic for Peter (who was there as a child when he lived in Europe) and fun for me! Did you ever learn the song, “Sur le Pont D’Avignon, on y danse, on y danse…” as a child??? Well, I did, and so, as the song suggests, on the Avignon Bridge we danced! And we sang the song. :)
Then we drove to Gordes which landed us in one of the most picturesque European spots I’ve ever been in!
We also took a day and went to Marseilles by train (just 45 mins.) and spent all day walking around enjoying the beautiful coast and touching the Mediterranean Sea!
I also saw the LARGEST aloe vera plant I’ve ever seen!!
Southern France was fabulous and we had a great time! Here are some of my travel tips for Aix-en-Provence:
1. Aix-en-Provence is a Cafe/Restaurant City, so be prepared to eat out, which will involve budgeting in that money.
2. Choosing non-capital smaller cities pays off for restful vacations.
3. Don’t forget about the countryside (scooter or by car). Have you seen some of those gorgeous photos of scenery above?!
4. Make sure to track the market days so you don’t miss anything.
5. Don’t be afraid to eat from food stalls on the street corner (crepes, sandwiches and the delicious chicken).
6. Choosing accommodation locations is key so that you can be right in the midst of old european ambience and are less dependant on transportation.
7. In both Spain and France we chose to be in an apartment-styled setting. This was entirely worth it to have privacy, freedom and the ability to do our own thing. HIGHLY recommended!
Next up: The food of Germany and Belgium !