Sunday, July 31, 2011

STAMP #1: Aix en Provence, France

Sitting in the shade of a huge mulberry tree on the terrace of a friend's house near Aix as I type my first post from la belle France. It's 25C with a gentle breeze from the south-west. I have a perfect view of Mont Ste Victoire, Cezanne's favourite landscape to paint, and the light changes on it every five minutes. This is a quiet day for me as I recover from the rigours of 20 hours of travel.

My flight from Montreal to Paris was delayed 3+ hours which meant I missed my train. Full marks to the Air Canada concierges in Montreal and Paris who got my train reservation switched and told my rental car company that I would be late. I had to run for the train but made it as it pulled into the CDG station. Whizzed down to Aix in three and a half hours and felt the dry heat as soon as I stepped onto the platform. Bliss.

Dejeuner sur la terrasse
After a 12 hour sleep I had no jet lag today. My breakfast of fresh, juicy apricots and fromage blanc set me up and I drove in the local village to the boulangerie for a fresh baguette and found a bottle of rose and yummy cheeses at tiny corner store. Lunch with four young friends and a swim.

Tomorrow will be my first expedition - I'm going to do the drive around and up Mont Ste-Victoire and have a picnic with a view. In the afternoon, I plan to spend some time in Vauvenargues, a village where Picasso bought a chateau and lived in it for four years while he painted feverishly. His daughter now owns the chateau and it is occasionally open to the public. I'm not hopeful, though, as it was open last summer. We'll see.

IMAGE: (c) Julie H. Ferguson 2011


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