D'Aix: a photo essay of Aix

Old May 1st, 2022, 12:20 PM
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D'Aix: a photo essay of Aix

Hi Guys,
So here's our long-delayed Aix photo essay, a tribute to that sympa town. These shots were supposed to be part of our original 2018 TR here 'Provencal Echo' but got side-tracked instead. A couple of them appeared in Coquelicot's 'Photos of France' thread. No music this time, sorry. Further down the road, we'll also post pictures taken on that same Provence/Gard trip: Lourmarin, Cucuron, Uzes, Avignon plus a tiny pinch of Paris. Our pictures feature some of the usual suspect clichés, plus other less-typical imagery.
We hope that you enjoy! *clicking on image may result in better viewing

Allons-y!

Can you guess which Fodorite's handle-name is depicted in the Provencal icons depicted here? Hint: think 'summer sounds'.

Early morn TGV.

Wonderful traditions.

Street art.

Such an Italianate town.

A certain 'je ne sais quoi'....

Shutterbug heaven.

Cavaillon melon: try it with Muscat 'Beaumes de Venise'. Outstanding.

Our room at the Aix youth hostel.

Reflections

The return of reflections.

Teen town.

Little darling.

Les fleurs

The Aix rep for Tilley travel hats. *note that Tilley just closed 'without plans to reopen'. End of an era.

Fave fountain.

end of part one

Last edited by zebec; May 1st, 2022 at 12:30 PM. Reason: oo-lala
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Old May 1st, 2022, 02:11 PM
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Oh zebec, yay to another photo essay!
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Old May 1st, 2022, 02:17 PM
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Your travel essay is so funny and interesting. Thanks for a smile.
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Old May 1st, 2022, 02:20 PM
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Solo cafe drinker.

Chocolates from Puyricard.

Cocoa from same.

Callisons candy from same shop.

Old signage.

The military college next door to our rental, where the cadets sang every morn.

Place d'Albertas, a popular photo op.

A historic school still in use.

Aix is a classy place and Parisians favor it for potential re-location.

This mansion in a gated community on the outskirts was completed for a Russian oligarch. He came to view the finished product at the end of our week stay.

This cat served as the gatekeeper to that community. I am not kidding.

The French edition.

An English edition.

Avec d'Armagnac.

Some of Verne's predictions for the future came true.

Mrs Z is completely bilingual. I lag behind in that regard.

Je foto un compile Michelin.

Lots of carvings and sculptures in Aix.

Some are historic.

Some are more modern.

Art seems to be everywhere.

Aix wears it all well.

Fall is a great time to visit.

de l'eau

Le chien qui ferme les yeux.

end of part two

Last edited by zebec; May 1st, 2022 at 02:22 PM.
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Old May 1st, 2022, 07:27 PM
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Our Aix rental was in a gated community.

Our landlady was a young, local politician who told us to help ourselves to the family's private fruit garden. The result was some unusually fresh breakfasts. Seen here, their 'ugni blanc' grapes.

Reine de la reine apples

More grapes.

The supplied ladder and tools that we used to amass our first meal of the day.

The result.

One of their lovely white blossoms.

Detail of a nearby neighbour's tasteful jardin.

Did I mention 'Italianate'?

Traditional plaque for legal office.

'Only a magic that a name would stain...' (P. Gabriel)

St. Fodoria, patron saint of travelers who take too many photos.

Statue of Alec du Grabertitz, great-great-great grandfather of Eugene Fodors.

The statuary speaks of the wealth and power that Aix must've once had.

C'est un vue typique.

Have you heard about the spoof organization 'Birds Aren't Real'?

Aix residents during the golden hour.

Religious imagery.

Royal imagery.

Unknown imagery.

Detail from door to Hotel de Ville (City Hall).

D'Aix

Pizza depuis '52.

Elle mange le pizza.

Mario pizza.

Arty lampshade. End of part three.
*Next: the weekly market & the Caumont Center.

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Old May 1st, 2022, 07:39 PM
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Fantastic golden tones. Better than when Aix looks grey.
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Old May 1st, 2022, 07:55 PM
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Happiness is a weekly food market on a sunny day in Aix.

Sausages

A unique display by one stall, done just for style and beauty.

Place Richelme is a good starting point for the market. Cafe Weibel, seen on the right, is a great place to sip a sunrise coffee and people-watch.

A vegetal variety.

Poterie aussi.

Textiles.

Garlic.

So much fresh variety.

Dried figs.

Pistachios.

So much good quality throughout.

Aix after the rains.

The Caumont center: caumont allez-vous?

An excellent lunch awaits visitors, served in any of three differently-themed salons.

One may do a 2-fer, touring through the historic building as part of a visit.

Elegance is everywhere @ the Caumont.

Its special shows feature a wide range of items, including custom glassware.

This was Mrs Z's favorite.

Nearby window reflection.

Aix has its own distinctive stone, the color of which makes a significant difference in the 'vibe' (that word) of the town. End part four.
*Donc, the conclusion in part five.

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Old May 1st, 2022, 07:59 PM
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I love your photos! Thanks for sharing.
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Old May 1st, 2022, 08:38 PM
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We love Aix. It hits our travelling 'G' spot every time.

The Palais de Justice renos that uncovered Roman ruins (see foreground). My 'What Would You Do If...?' bit in our TR was based on a true story.

Avignon may be better-connected for transit logistics, but we prefer the smaller feel of Aix.

Jardin lantern detail.

The golden hour.

We salute all the brave Ukrainians currently fighting for their lives.

Sympa Aix.

It is a door.

Downtown arch.

Near the old, historic City hall's former locale.

Une autre arch.

Riflo raflo.

J'adore le door.

This square was really hopping, even on weeknights.

as above

Jacquou le Croquant.

Place Miolis, with its funky namesake cafe.

Same fountain detail.

Painted statuary same square.

Backlit beauty.

Sunrise illuminates a scene on the eastern edge of town.

Sleepy sunrise in downtown Aix.

Centuries of history and culture.

Wooden depiction of female musician with instrument.

Gotta love street art.

The shadows of Aix.

Rue Finsonius, in a residential neighbourhood far from touristic attractions.

Recent visitors to Aix will recognize this pair.

Lion door knocker.

Church exterior in northern neighbourhood.

As rush hour approaches...

I am done. The end.
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Old May 1st, 2022, 09:32 PM
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Your photos are absolutely fabulous. Thank you so much for taking time to post them.
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Old May 1st, 2022, 09:53 PM
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A big MERCI to Ade, Sassafrass, PGTraveler and Kerouac for their kind words above. May all of your own upcoming travels to wherever be Aix-cellent, just excellent!
Thanks again folks.
I am done. the town
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Old May 1st, 2022, 10:27 PM
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Absolutely wonderful! Your photos evoke the France we all love. I predict a sudden surge of interest in Aix among Fodorites.
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Old May 1st, 2022, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Coquelicot View Post
Absolutely wonderful! Your photos evoke the France we all love. I predict a sudden surge of interest in Aix among Fodorites.
absolutely gorgeous!

when were you there, zebec? I visited friends living there a week ago and am debating if I want to go back and spend the afternoon there today.
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Old May 2nd, 2022, 01:31 AM
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Zebec, I was just showing my son your last photo, such clever composition with the fountain, the reflection, the lovely building.
Your collections are always so interesting.
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Old May 2nd, 2022, 08:14 AM
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Superb !!!!
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Old May 2nd, 2022, 08:48 AM
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Wonderful and exceptional photos. Thank you for sharing!
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Old May 2nd, 2022, 08:52 AM
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Thank you for these gorgeous photos. After four prolonged stays, including one two-week visit, and innumerable day visits, Aix remains my favorite place in France for reasons I can't quite explain--the sheer beauty of it is a big part of it, of course, and the human size and pace are others. Add in culture and history, the beauty of the surrounding countryside, the easy access to the coastal towns I love, and that should be enough reasons. But mostly it's just something ineffable, and I've given up trying to understand it.

I know Aix doesn't get that much love on Fodor's; people tend to find it boring and inconvenient and to prefer Avignon, a place I have always disliked intensely. Go figure. But the pandemic and other factors have kept me out of France (we canceled our 2020 trip and haven't planned another), so to see these glorious images was a true joy.

Merci mille fois!
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Old May 2nd, 2022, 10:48 AM
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So folks, that 'Aix Tilley hat rep' in the B&W foto was actually my wife, for those who may not have realized.

I want to acknowledge Coquelicot for having been behind the 'Photos of France' thread, a display that kept all of our travel energies stoked during the lockdown(s).
I also want to acknowledge CigaleChanta whose clever handle was the answer to my quiz-question regarding that second photo overall: see the top right of that colorful glass serving-plate with all the Provencal icons.

I want to acknowledge 'Autumnal Ade' again. Gotta question: has your national broadcaster-journalist Helen Welling (our Figeac landlady) returned to air on TV yet, after mourning her tragic loss?

I am not done. this is not the end.
(cont. below)
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Old May 2nd, 2022, 11:29 AM
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FlyGirl, this particular trip was during fall 2018. We arrived in Aix on Oct. 5th. We've been to Aix a couple times in decades past. As for your personal debate--why not return there, if its calling to you? Have you been to the Vasarely museum yet? The staff are idiots but the display is unique, due to the SIZE of the art.
Gudava, you are more than welcome. May everyone have their own ways of enjoying their travels, be it photographic, literary, artistic, eating, shopping or whatever.

Franchaucouer, you are more than welcome. I love the way you've described that certain 'je ne sais quoi' Aix appeal. Some places just 'work' for each of us, yeah? The where and the why don't matter. Our photo essay here just drew some snark on another travel site. A poster over there was critical of the overall touristy feel that typical Provencal imagery conveys. Their message was, "Hmph! It works for you North Americans and your fantasies of France. Why don't you go try photographing reality, like the gritty outer suburbs of Paris instead?!"

I guess our response to that would be:
a) one must learn from one's travels.
b) one thing that we've learned is that we are now seniors, with limited energies.
c) another thing that I've learned is to accept the needs of my traveling partner/wife: no more Zambian canoe treks for either of us.
d) travel is not some game with attached achievement scores Burundi 9.4 Sikkim 8.9 Santa Fe 3.7 Niagara-on-the-Lake 2.1 Moldava 7.7 etc. If someone is passionate about a certain locale, who are we to be critical of their preference?
e) does anyone seriously think that a retiree from overseas would come all the way to Paris and spend most of their time in one of the toughest inner-city neighbourhoods? (cue the Marseille beat-down scene with Matt Damon in 'Sweetwater)
f) I spent nearly my entire teaching career in inner-city neighbourhoods; no desire to seek them out again anywhere, during retirement. We don't want to get robbed or stabbed---we're funny that way.
g) we actually chose to rent a house in one of Paris' less-touristy areas near St. Blaise last time.
h) couldn't think of anything to add as an 'h' here.

Fun Fact: BBC Gardening guru Monty Don once spent a year in Aix as a young man.

Bonus Story:
Moments after photoing those Roman ruins near the Palais de Justice, I walked over to a nearby historic building. As I was taking a shot of its façade, there was a local couple nearby watching me closely. He came over and inquired why I was taking pictures there, then after I explained (i.e. they were just for fun), they both exhaled visibly and began to laugh. Turned out that they'd just put a bid in to buy that property and had come down from pairs to seal the deal that hour. They had assumed that i was a competing bidder on the home! We all laughed together and high-fived, a wonderful ending to that tale.

I am done. the storytelling
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Old May 2nd, 2022, 01:16 PM
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I remember seeing Helen Wellings on TV, zebec, I see she is now described as ‘consumer editor’ for a TV station.
Awful to read about her son. I didn’t know.
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