Charming Aix en Provence

Due to a rail strike, our journey from Arles to Aix en Provence that should have been 90 minutes took five hours, but we made it here and are already loving the friendly upbeat vibe.

Since our train from Arles wasn't leaving until 1:00, we had some time to see more of the town. In the main plaza at the cathedral, a man was entertaining the crowd playing the trumpet while small children danced in front of him. Even a few couples joined in the merriment of the moment.

We spent some time looking closely at the carvings on the front of the church which is a UNESCO World Heritage sight. We tried to imagine what it must have been like for the artists who did this work. The folds in the robes look real and the eyes of the figures look as if they are looking at you.

The figures in the photo below depict what can happen to those who did not follow the teachings of the church. They are in chains on their way to Hell.

Our train for Aix en Provence was supposed to leave at 1:00, but the board said it was delayed by first 10, then 20 minutes. Because of an intermittent rail strike this holiday weekend, 20 minutes turned into 2.5 hours. We were on the platform waiting with a French family. Each time a delay was announced in French only, we knew it was bad news by the looks on their faces, but they spoke no English and the schedule board was not working so we had to trust that as long as they stayed, the train would come eventually. When they finally announced the train would arrive, we knew the good news when a teenage boy in their family brightly smiled, wiped his brow, and said "Phew!"

After another transfer and layover we finally made it. The Hotel Du Globe where we are staying is centrally located and inexpensive. It was recommended by the NY Times who said it would never win a design award, but is clean and tidy. We ate dinner at a pizzeria and just had fun walking around town. I'll describe the town in detail tomorrow. Meanwhile enjoy our first photos of Aix en Provence.


Susan Erickson said…
You took good use of your waiting time. Interesting carving of those going to hell.The weather still looks delightful there.

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