Next month, I’m heading back to France! Each summer, I work at a study abroad program in one of the best neighborhoods in Paris. My employer will fly me over prior to the program or allow me to return home later, so I usually tack on a week of vacation either before or after the program. I try to visit a region or city I haven’t been to before. This year, I have decided to go to Aix-en-Provence.
I last went to Provence two years ago and nearly melted on the cobbled pavement. I stayed in Avignon for the week after the program ended and it was HOT, over 40 degrees Celsius every day – that’s about 104 degrees Fahrenheit! I needed a siesta in the afternoon and it greatly cramped my ability to get out and see things. Roman ruins in the noonday sun and not a speck of shade? I don’t think so. So, I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t be so ennervatingly hot in the third week of June.
What do those of you who have already been to Aix suggest? I know that I want to take a drive to the lavender fields, and I’ve heard that Aix is famous for its 130 fountains. Of course, I always plan to visit the museums and churches. And no trip to Aix would be complete without paying hommage to its native son, Paul Cézanne. What about other day trips? Is Cassis a must see? And I have tons of recommendations for pâtisseries, but relatively few for places for dinner. Please add to mon carnet d’addresses (mohn kar-nay dad-ress), or “my contact list.” I’d love to hear your thoughts.