Le Grand Tour de la France - le Quatrième Jour
Aix en Provence aux Les Prairies de la Mer, Port Grimaud, La Côte d'Azur.
On the fourth day of our grand French road trip, we take a look at Aix en Provence in the Rhône-Alpes region and travel to Port Grimaud on the Côte d'Azur.
- Kicking Back in Pretty Provence
- Cours Mirabeau - Aix en Provence
- The Famous Fountains of Cours Mirabeau
Kicking Back in Pretty Provence
We loved the situation of our Formule 1 hotel, just outside the town of Aix en Provence. Its pretty gardens surrounding the hotel and car park were delightful. Drinking coffee from paper cups at the picnic tables was so de-stressing, I wanted to stay here and watch the world go by forever!
But, I had to drag myself away. Aix en Provence awaited us with its own delights. And Aix en Provence is a truly delightful city, so they say. Let's see.
Cours Mirabeau - Aix en Provence
We motored the couple of miles into the city after packing up and leaving the hotel. We parked on the periphery of the old city and had lunch in an 'oh-so-French' restaurant. The waiter couldn't (or wouldn't!) speak a word of English, so I had to try out my poor conversational French on him. Happily, it worked. Maybe my French isn't so bad after all!
The signposts led us around the corner and on to the main tourist drag.
The city's main thoroughfare (and its most famous one) is the Cours Mirabeau, a street lined with cafes, restaurants and beautiful mansion houses, shaded by several rows of centuries-old plane trees. Once a street for horse-drawn coaches, the Cours Mirabeau of today links the Mazarin district to the south with the old commercial town to the north.
To sit down at one of the terraces and watch life go by while sipping a cappuccino or a latte is a thrilling experience - one I'll never forget. Life is like a pantomime on the Cours Mirabeau!
The Famous Fountains of Cours Mirabeau
Watching the cool water flowing from the abundant fountains on Cours Mirabeau and listening to the sounds of water splurging playfully, is another great attraction for the tourist. It made me feel as though I was in my own little fairytale land rather than being hustled and jostled on this oh-so-busy street.
Atelier Cézanne (Cézanne's Studio) - Many visitors to Aix en Provence have an interest in the work of Cézanne, me included. And here we had an opportunity to discover several of the artist's familiar objects, many of which feature in his wonderful paintings.
After picking up a souvenir or two from both Cézanne's studio and the Cours Mirabeau, we were eager to drive the one and a half hours to our caravan destination at Les Prairies de la Mer in Port Grimaud, La Côte d'Azur, on the French Riviera.
"Ah, time for some R & R, methinks!" said I.