July 21, 2012

One Week in Southern France - Roman Ruins and Nuns in Cars

Three days in the gorgeous Aix en Provence and a road trip to Arles is now on the menu. Why, you may ask, in a city as vibrant and beautiful as Aix, do you feel inclined to leave?

Because Arles still has functioning elements of the Roman Empire, thank you very much.

I don't mean aqueducts or municipal policing by centurions (perish the thought). I mean a coliseum that hosts bull-fights in the evening, and a Roman theater still used for contemporary concerts. It's also only an hour away.

So, a short trip by car - which includes toll booths and passing a car full of nuns (awesome) - and we arrive. Not joking about the nuns. They were flying down the autoroute in their habits, the driver with her hands at "10 and 2" on the steering wheel. I took a picture. I digress.

July 19, 2012

One Week in Southern France - The First Days

Eleven hours of travel, and a quick car ride from Frankfurt airport, and I find myself in the small town of Aix en Provence, Côte d'Azur, France. Ruddy-clay buildings, tall and crowded and unplumbed, along cobblestone streets with peeling platan trees

The air is sweet, dry, with pine and grapevine and juniper. I set up home base in a clean, cool basement apartment with a backyard and swimming pool. Well, make that half-a-swimming pool as it seems to have been sized to suit. Maybe that's a good metaphor for the trip here: the idea of sizing.