After the idyllic welcome that Provence offered us, we were eager to start exploring. I had previously checked the timetable days for the different cities we wanted to visit to make sure that we would always be there on market day. And the markets in Aix-en-Provence were something that we wouldn’t have considered missing, especially the flower market. So off to Aix we went.
First stop: Aix-en-Provence
Aix turned out to be one of our favourite towns in the whole tour, one that we will surely return to with more time. We saw four different markets that were all scattered around the city centre: one with clothes and the usual stuff, a food market, an antique market and the flower market. Heaven!
Despite the fact that it was Easter, the town was lively without being crowded, which was a real pleasure. We were all blown away by the light, the colours and the beautiful buildings.
I’m not a religious person at all, but I love it when little religious symbols hide in every corner.
It was a perfect spring day. You know how those first days of warmth make you feel full of hope? For me, nothing beats the first day of the year when it’s warm enough to take off a cardigan. This was that day in 2015. Heavenly. And there were flowers. SO. MANY. FLOWERS. I made me so fucking happy.
Sadly I couldn’t buy any flowers, but I came home with a handpainted vintage enamel teapot that I paid almost nothing for and is now one of my favourite items in my apartment.
After a delicious lunch (not pictured) we left Aix and went to Martigues thinking it’d be like the Venice of Provence. Wrong.
There was water, but we weren’t too impressed, so after a quick coffee break I had a look at my map to see where we could go from there. And we decided to drive to Les Baux de Provence.
Les Baux de Provence
I was genuinely surprised at how much the landscape had changed within a short journey. We went from driving around a lake to being in the middle of the Alpilles mountains, with rock and pine trees everywhere. Baux-de-Provence is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France, but apparently now, with a population of 22, it’s purely a tourist attraction. It’s a nice visit, but that sort of takes the charm away from it. We got there right before sunset and there wasn’t very much going on. It was a nice walk, though.
But what we actually wanted to see there to see wasn’t the village, or the castle, which sadly we couldn’t visit, but one of the most amazing art installations that I’ve ever seen and deserves a blog post of its own; Carrières de Lumières. I’ll leave you a little appetiser here.
So much to do in such a little area! The next time we will try to come back to see what else it has to offer.
It was time for us to drive back home, but as the sun wasn’t totally down yet, we made a little stop in Beaucaire, a village that we had driven through the previous day. When driving through, my parents were impressed. “Wow, look at those people eating by the canal! That’s beautiful!” And it was. But you know, when you’re on the go all day and end up having to walk a lot because you parked the car in the wrong place, sometimes you just need to admit you’re done for the day, and we did. Not without seeing this sunset reflected on the road, though.