Aix-en-ProvenceApril 24, 2016 in France ⋅
We arrived last night just before nightfall. We are staying at an old French chateau that had been slowly renovated by their owners, Dominique and Eric, over the past 10 years. We are a big fan of old buildings and houses. Unfortunately, this renovation had not been done properly. We had reservations about the structural integrity of the house. Our room was up on the second floor, up some flights of stairs with 10mm cracks that had propagated from the ceiling, down the wall and across the entire width of the stair. To make matters worse, upon further inspection, Aaron pulls out a loose chunk of concrete from a step.
The house was also a little eerie (according to Flora). Aaron mentions ghosts right before bedtime and spooked an already unsettled Flora. She would not sleep well again that night. Her cold makes her restless and hiding her head under the doona to avoid ghosts makes it rather difficult to breathe. Aaron thought it all so amusing.
Thank goodness for daylight. Flora couldn't get out of the house quick enough. We went to the city for a few hours to see what it's all about. We walked down Cours Mirabeau, a wide main thoroughfare in the city, and found very few people about. We cut across through an alleyway and found that most of the shops were closed (it was a Sunday), much to Flora's dismay. Exploring shops in a spiderweb of alleyways has quickly become Flora's favourite pastime in France.
We got to the main square and, all of a sudden, there was a huge congregation of people. Is there a market?? No, just a gazillion tourists on tour groups. We left the city and headed off to a couple of little towns called Bonnieux and Apt.
Aaron loves challenges so when his mate, Liam, tells him about a time when he worked on a homestead in the Provence region, Aaron thought he would find it. Armed with a roughly-placed flag on a Google map screenshot from Liam, and the directions that, "it is about halfway between Bonnieux and Apt," we set off on this great adventure. Oh, Liam also mentioned that the guy that lives there is called Ian Anderson. Should be super easy to find.
For the next hour, we drove down a 14km road, stopping at letterboxes outside some homesteads to see if an Ian Anderson lives there. There were lots of houses and homesteads. Lots. We got to Bonnieux to find some wifi so we could ask Liam some questions about the location of this homestead but, being a Sunday, nothing was open except for a bar without WiFi. Sorry Liam, we tried.
We took this opportunity to walk around little old Bonnieux. Such a shame that none of the cute little shops were open. The wind was ripping right through our jackets. It's one of the coldest days we've had in France and it's not helping with Flora's cold. Time to head home.
Flora needed some Asian food. Some warm bowl of soup. On a Sunday. In France. Against all odds, she found one in a town 10 km away. It's no Tra Vinh back home but it sure hit the spot.Read more