Aix-en-Provence: Market Day

Aix-en-Provence: Market Day

A pretty, bright day in Provence! Rob and I had breakfast of espresso and lemon yogurt at the apartment and headed out to the old city for morning errands.  It’s easy to get lost in the winding medieval streets – somehow the path always works out.  We managed to find the museum we were looking for but it didn’t open until noon.

So, we wandered.  These two elegant ladies were among the crowds out shopping at the various open air markets. Tuesday is one of the main market days across the city: clothes on the main boulevard, produce by the courthouse, antiques a block down from there. Flowers near the clock tower.

Aix-en-Provence reportedly has over 1,000 fountains. I believe it. All our navigation is now fountain-based. We turn at the four dolphins (above) and pass the fern fountain (below) where the man with the accordion is playing in order to head back to the apartment.

We dashed home to drop off the two giant Turkish bedspreads/tablecloths I bought from a seller in the antique market.  I’m trying to be conservative about souvenirs at this point as my bag is already pretty full and we’re not even halfway through the trip yet. Couldn’t resist that silvery thread, though. Look how pretty they are with the antiques I picked up in Nice:

Back out for lunch and a museum. We had planned to stop in a cafe, when I spotted a raclette at a booth selling charcuterie and screeched to a stop.  Here’s how this goes:  Step 1. Split a crunchy baguette and shave slivers off the ham you have on display to the left.

Step 2. Leave the ham and bread on top of your raclette heater to warm up while the cheese below toasts. Step 3.  Turn the handle and use a knife to scrape the hot cheese into the bread.

Step 4. Sit at a nearby fountain and devour the sandwich. Take a short break only for photos and to consider maybe adding what the deliverymen sitting next to you have for lunch to your own meal: roast chicken, potatoes and beer.

Amazing. Satiated by the sandwiches, we walked up to the Musee Granat. Most of their Cezanne collection was hidden for restoration but we still appreciated the collection of sculptures and portraits at the main gallery.

Rob and I walked over to their other gallery to see the Jean Planque collection. An inspiring guy, he managed to build an extensive collection of paintings by Picasso, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh and others on a limited income and then donated the whole thing to the city. Back to the apartment by 2:00 so Rob could start working.  I napped in the garden and then caught up on the journal. The temperature in the sunny afternoon here gets to the upper 60’s before dropping to the 40’s at night.

At five, it was time to set out for the evening’s shopping. On my way to the Monoprix, I passed the famous Deux Garcons cafe where Picasso, Cezane and Piaf all sipped coffee.

Stopped on the way back to admire the wide selection of advent calendars in a stationery store.

I saw someone buying this “filet de merlu blanc meuniere” in Nice and decided to pair it with tiny yellow potatoes and skinny “haricot verts” cooked with herbs de provence for dinner today. This is our second apartment with just an electric stovetop and microwave – a little challenging. However, the meal turned out deliciously and the $5 bottle of Bordeaux with it was incredible.

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