Two weeks ago, the Professor had to present his research at a conference in Aix en Provence and the little one and I decided to tag along. We thought we'd see the sights in and around the city center and then maybe take the bus to nearby Marseille and explore somewhere else. Well, our trip didn't pan out exactly as we planned. Roman's stomach virus lingered longer than we expected and just as he was getting better, he caught a nasty ear infection. The pediatrician prescribed an antibiotic for his ear which cleared up the infection straight away but made his already sensitive and wobbly stomach even more sensitive and wobbly which made him not want to eat and throw up whenever he did. So we scrapped the plan of going to Marseille but we got to know little Aix really well and if I tell you that despite the fussy, vomiting toddler we had a nice time (again, under the circumstances) maybe that'll give you an idea of how lovely this city is.
Here are some scenes from our trip:
To start things off, here is probably the most iconic image of Provence. A little café with the typical wicker chairs and of course an old guy with a beret sitting with a cigarette and a newspaper.
Béchard bakery on the Cours Mirabeau. If you go, try the calisson. After all, the cakes are too big for sidewalk snacking :)
The Provence Shop on Rue Victor Leydet.
Le Pain Quotidien. This chain serves wonderful organic foods but I have the feeling most people actually come here for the waffles and hot chocolate. We spent at least a good two hours here having lunch and dessert, enjoying the ambiance and free wifi while Roman played with a little French boy who had also brought along some Matchbox cars to play with. The kids raced their cars along the long table and giggled like little maniacs. What I love about this age is that there's no language barrier. As long as there are toys, kids will find a way to communicate.
Walking around the streets of the city center, I saw this sign repeated a few times. It made me laugh so I thought I'd share it. I've seen signs for deer crossings before but never one for wiener dogs. What privileged animals to get their own designated part of the street!
P.S. Here are some scenes from our last trip (also to France), in case you missed it.