Friday, January 13, 2012

Eurotrip 2011, Day 13: A day in Aix, an evening in Marseille

We did end up sleeping in a bit on our first full day in Marseille, and we grabbed breakfast- espressos and amazing freshly made chocolate croissants - at the Hebheb Abderrahman next to our hotel on the Rue Beauvau. We were able to catch a late-morning shuttle to Aix-en-Provence. It had turned out that Steve's host sister Laura had moved to Aix, so we planned to meet her for lunch and spend some time wandering around this beautiful little city.

Place du General de Gaulle, Aix-en-Provence
The beginning of the Cours Mirabeau in Aix

We had lunch a little burger joint - delicious and affordable and simply called Burger Bar. It was chosen by Laura, possibly because her little son Louis was with us and she said he liked this restaurant :) We hung out with Laura, her son and a friend of hers for a couple of hours before parting ways - but funnily enough we made plans to come back to Aix the following evening! Still, we wanted to do a bit more sightseeing before heading back to Marseille, so Steve and I wandered off into old Aix for a while...
Old Town Gate
Cathedral St Sauveur
The Cathedral St Sauveur is extremely interesting, as it was built on the site of the first century Roman forum in Aix and was pieced together from the 12th to the 19th centuries, which means that it contains Romanesque, Gothic and Neo-Gothic elements.

After wandering around the Cathedral we made one more quick stop at the chunk of wall known as "Vestiges du Rempart" - the remainder of Aix's medieval fortifications. Honestly there really wasn't much to see, but hey...we were in the area :)

From there it was back to the Cours Mirabeau. We stopped for a glass of wine, wandered by the market tents that had popped up on the wide sidewalks, and eventually grabbed a waffle before catching the shuttle back to Marseille.

Moss well on the Cours Mirabeau in Aix
Enjoying a glass of wine at a sidewalk "cafe" on the Cours Mirabeau
Local beekeeper selling his wares on the Cours Mirabeau
An "Aix waffle". I don't know, it was Steve's thing. It was yummy, I'll give him that :)
Once back in Marseille we kind of wandered aimlessly for a bit, before finally making our way to the Cours Honore d'Estienne d'Orves, a wide street closed to traffic and lined with restaurants, bars and cafes. We'd had such a big lunch, plus those yummy waffles, that we weren't hungry for dinner - instead we sat at an outside table at a little restaurant called Le Pointu (on the corner of Cours Honore and Cours Jean Ballard) and shared a carafe of a white Provencal wine and a cheese plate. It was a nice relaxing evening after a long day on shuttle buses and walking around Aix, and again we went to bed fairly early - though this time in hopes of getting our butts out of bed at a decent hour to sightsee around Marseille before heading back to Aix ;)

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