Aug. 21st – Next, disaster struck. On the train to Marseilles (not a safe city, or so every French person told us), someone swiped Amber’s suitcase. Fortunately, she had her passport, most of her credit and bank cards, and her digital camera. But they got all her clothing, toiletries, and leather bags purchased in Florence. Needless to say, reporting said crime in Aix was not a highlight of the trip.
But fortunately we didn’t have a heavy tourist day planned, so we could flexibly visit the Police “Hôtel” twice, where Amber could be interrogated when an English-speaking officer was on duty. Aix was the birthplace of Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne, and we got to walk down a memorialized street between his childhood home, Jas de Bouffan, and his former studio, Atelier Cézanne. After lunch at a pizzeria on the main strip (I had previously refused pizza dining in Italy because Naples is the place to eat pizza), I was keen to visit the small Impressionist museum, Musée Granet (Place Saint-Jean de Malte, 13100 Aix-en-Provence). Our ticket was good for two separate exhibits in two different buildings, the other being Site Granet XXe, the collection of Jean Planque. The latter was cool, because it was a sample of one collector housed inside a former church. Amber took some nice photographs of the interior. Perhaps more art exhibits ought to be displayed in old churches. Impressionism is my favorite art style, and it was something easy to do in the afternoon. We also whiled away our time browsing the outdoor stalls along the main promenade, Cours Mirabeau. You can also admire the Fontaine de la Rotonde in the heart of town; the most lovely roundabout you ever saw.
We didn’t have any memorable dining experiences, so Amber thought we could have left Aix off the itinerary. I found it restful, especially after yesterday, and our French-only-speaking AirBnB host was charming (wish I had snapped a photo of the resident dog). Onwards!