A Weekend in Aix - Part II

Well, that was a much longer break between getting the first post up, and this one. Life has been crazy busy, to say the least. Not sure how long it will take me to get through these last couple of days, but here goes...

On my way back down from the Terrain des Peintres, I was able to stop at the Atelier Cezanne, the studio and workshop where Cezanne painted. The studio was custom built by Cezanne, and has a huge window along the back wall, that lets in amazing light. It's as he left it after he died, with all of his original possessions, letters and other effects.

It's a pretty cool place, and the house has nice gardens you can wander around. I had heard that it gets very busy, but despite being the middle of the day, it wasn't too bad. There's not a lot to see, but was worth the stop.

The front gate, heading into Atelier Cezanne

The front of the Atelier Cezanne

After checking out the studio, I walked back into the city, and went to find some lunch. I ended up back on the Cours Mirabeau, and at the Cafe des Deux Garcons. I sat on the patio, enjoyed the sunshine and had a light lunch. After lunch, i wandered back through the market, and immediately regretted having lunch. I could have easily just bought some food in the market, and had that.

One of the amazing market vendors

I should have waited and had the paella 

The market in Aix

After wandering for a bit, it was still only mid afternoon, and I had some time to kill before the sun was going to start making nice light. I should have gone back to the hotel and had a nap (that would have been the smart thing anyway), but instead I decided to walk some more. I decided to walk across town, and check out Cezanne's grave, in the main cemetery. 

It was a bit of a walk, and it had gotten hot. I was really questioning the decision, but eventually I got over there. The cemetery is up on a bit of a rise, and has amazing views back towards the mountains. The grave was just one of many, except for the signs advertising it...


A beautiful tree, along the wall near the gates to the cemetery.

I was pretty much the only person there, and the big trees made it a nice, quiet, shady spot to enjoy the scenery. I didn't stay long, but it was a nice diversion. It was a fairly long walk back, and before long I found myself back out front of the cathedral.

This time the doors were open, and there was a regular stream of people coming and going. It was perfect timing, as I still had a couple of hours before I needed to be up at the viewpoint. I had been looking forward to seeing this church for a long time, and it lived up to the expectations.

Immediately on entry, the baptistry sits off to the right.

This cathedral is a crazy mix of architectural styles, and there are more rooms than you can count, all jutting off the main hall. There are so many cool nooks and crannies to explore, and each had their own little unique treasure to discover. There was a service going on, but the place is so huge that it's easy to wander about, without really disturbing anyone. 

Down one of the side aisles - amazing art everywhere!

Sadly, the cloisters were locked up, so I couldn't get out to see the courtyard. It looked beautiful, from the gates. I wandered through much of the building, trying to avoid any activities that were going on. The huge organ is amazing, and there was just so much detail - paintings everywhere, carvings, etchings on the floor. Even the grate in the baptistry that factored into the story. I have a new appreciation for the amount of research that Kay puts into his books after this weekend. 

View out to the cloisters.

I probably spent almost two hours wandering and taking pictures. It's a great place. I lost track of time a bit, as I was suddenly worried that with the walk up to the top of the hill, I was going to miss the light. So I headed back out, and my fears were unfounded. 

By the time I got up to the Terrain des Peintres, the light was just starting to turn. You could see the mountain in all it's glory, changing colour as the light changed. The view was spectacular, and I sat there for a couple of hours, with the place pretty much to myself. There was one other guy there, and he made me feel a bit inadequate, as he was actually sketching the view.

Mount Sainte-Victoire, in all it's glory.

 could have stayed there for ages, but it had been a long day, and it was time to go. I took my time wandering back down the hill, and back into the city. I stopped outside the Cathedral (it was on the way, honest!), and took a couple last pics in the amazing light.

One last view of the outside of the Cathedral. Such nice light...

By this time, I was pretty hungry. It was a beautiful night, and after making a stop to buy some wine to take home for Justine, I found myself in the square near the city hall, at one of the very cool outdoor patios. I had a couple of glasses of rose, then ordered some food and relaxed for a couple of hours.

It was well past dark at that point, and it was still a bit of a walk back to the hotel. I was pretty much wiped out at that point, so called it a night.

A Google Earth view of my morning walk around Aix. Over the course of the day and a half, I covered over 33 km walking.