My proprieter of the B&B I was staying at explained as he served me my coffee during breakfast. "In Provence, coffee is served in large bowls, not cups". Who was I to argue? I enjoyed the coffee (although I am not a coffee drinker) and besides, the rest of the breakfast was excellent. I did ponder on how one would drink a bowl of coffee with one hand. I was barely able to use the "both hands" required method.
Calissons are a confection popular in Aix and throughout Provence. It's an almond shaped confection made of sugar and almond paste. In September there is a blessing of the confections called: la bénédiction des calissons. This ceremony has been held since the seventeeth century to mark the deliverance of Aix from the plague. After the ceremony there is a pagent for the town.
It was unfortunate that we would not be here to experience the pagent. Liz loves her Calissons....it's one of her French addictions.
Don't plan on doing anything that involves public transport, shopping
(even for food) or museum and stuff - everything is closed on sundays.
What the french do themselves, is meet friends at a café, have dinner
with the family, or go to the countryside.
Aix has a lot of markets - we were here for just five days, and we came across three different ones.
There is the daily food market in Place Richelm. There was a large arts and crafts one on the Cours Mirabeau on Teusday, and an assorted one around the SW of the outskirts on Wednesday.
All of them pack up at midday.
It is a practise that has long died out in Britain, if it ever existed, but here in France most shops still close at lunchtime. Monoprix does not, nor the large Casino, but if you are out and about in town between half past twelve and half past two, then your shopping options will be somewhat limited.
Aix was the inspiration to many of the greatest writers and painters: Guigou, Stendhal, Mistral, Zola, and Cézanne. There is even a special Cezanne tour which one can follow through the streets of Aix stopping at points marked with a „C“.
The picture shows the Musée d'Histoire Naturelle
It's a good idea to follow Cezanne's example, and do some artwork while you're here. There's a lot to inspire you! As you can see, I like Van Gogh's style in my work...