Aix-en-Provence is a gorgeous city, university town, the birthplace of Cézanne and a fabulous ville to wander around for a day or twenty. Market days are fairly busy, particularly now Spring is serving up seasonally appropriate weather (not that the rain wasn't appreciated), but it's well worth braving the crowds.
One benefit of all the rain - the Cours Mirabeau looks superb. Look right down the end you can see...
The Rotonde fountain. With siamese lions, spitting fish and cupids riding vomitting swans, it doesn't get much better.
Aix (pronounced X, like the letter) has many beautiful old buildings and churches.
Like this one
And this one
And the windows are all so...well, French. Imagine living in these apartments:
...or old, they have their charm.
Aix is a town where the Virgin Mary hangs out on street corners. No, I'm not being rude, look:
This Mary keeps an eye on one of the market squares. Poor old baby Jesus looks like he's seen better days.
A more colourful Mary, with the Town Hall clock behind her. Notice baby Jesus is nappy (diaper) free; that Mary was a brave woman.
Even graffiti looks sexier in French:
My (possibly incorrect) language skills translate this to mean 'Let's burn this world to ruins' or 'Let's burn this ruined world'. Lovely either way, really.
Aix is a city of festivals - they hold them regularly for art, music, dance and so on. We were in Aix this particular weekend for a street festival.
We missed the dancing but got to see some singing clowns.
We also caught a half-hour children's performance in the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall). It was a lot of fun (based on Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood) and great for our French skills.
Luckily accordions and pee-pee jokes are funny in any language.
Here's the Hôtel de Ville. There are more sights to see in this building, but that will have to wait for another day.