France Day 4

15 Sep

Our 4th day in France saw us taking a drive to the city of Aix-en-Provence, about an hour away from where we are staying in Le Val.

 Aix is to Provence what the left bank is to Paris: a pocket of Bohemian chic with an edgy student crowd – Lonely Planet Guide.

Students literally spill out into the streets from every cafe, there are groups of them milling about on every set of steps you can find. In the main streets the city heaves with people. It reminds me a lot of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape (South Africa) – lots of huge, old oak trees (although apparently the trees in Aix are plane trees) and cafe’s filled with arty students although the French students are far more trendy, well-dressed and wear shoes!

Aix has a rich heritage and is nominated as European City of Culture for 2013. It has beautiful architecture and was home to the artist Paul Cezanne and the novelist Emile Zola. Finding parking is a nightmare and it is difficult to navigate your way through the narrow crowded streets so was not much of a hit with Olaf. But grab a baguette from Paul’s, find a quiet bench slightly out-of-the-way and it is great for people watching.

On the subject of eating, I have probably eaten my weight in ham since we arrived. As we live in Saudi Arabia, pork is a little scarce to say the least. I can’t say I really miss roast pork or even bacon that much but I do miss great ham. An awesome burgundy ham, cheese and salad roll is an all time favorite for me for a quick lunch. Turkey ham, as it’s called back in the Land of Sand, is a sad and rather pathetic alternative – to me. I was mostly looking forward to a glass of wine with dinner before we arrived and although I am enjoying the Provencal wine very much, the ham is really rocking my world.

And now that I have touched on the wine let me just say, we are currently consuming wine from our close friend’s Brad and Angie’s vineyard.

 Okay maybe not SUCH close friends, well maybe not even friends at all but it is their wine. Brangelina (there I said it, eeew) bought Chateau Miraval a little while ago and are currently renovating it. Apparently it is just near by and cost a cool 35 million pounds. From what I have read online, cause I did my research okay, they flew over in their helicopter, liked the look of it, landed, ran in and asked if they could buy the place, as one does right? I mean that is exactly how we bought our last house, do you do it that way too?

I think Olaf rang them earlier to invite them over for a drink this afternoon.

They didn’t answer!

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