SPENDING MORE QUALITY TIME WITH HEATHER
30.03.2011 - 21.04.2011 15 °C
I flew to Paris via Chicago and spent the first few days in Heather's apartment in the Marais. Then we travelled on the TGV high speed train to Aix-en-Provence where our apartment was on rue Gaston de Saporta, a narrow pedestrian street in the oldest part of the city. The apartment like the one in Paris is on the top floor of a four storey walk-up. Some climb, but well worth it with the great views of roof tops, a bell tower and steeple. You wake up to church bells and look out at a cloudless sky. Then you go down to the street to buy a baguette, croissant or pain chocolat. What a lovely start to the day. The flower and vegetable markets are open daily and only a few minutes walk. At the corner is the thirteenth century cathedral so to say the least it's wonderful. This city has so many squares and fountains and there are people eating and drinking all day long.
When you are craving the delights of a big city Marseilles is a short bus ride away and if you are a senior the fare is one euro. Buses leave Aix every ten minutes. Founded by the Greeks in 600 BC it is a vibrant, beautiful and very interesting place indeed.
We visited Lourmarin for a few days. It's where Peter Mayle, the author, lives and is in the middle of a wine producing area so there are lots of grape vines, pretty scenery, chateaux, etcetera. There are markets in the neighbouring towns as well and the one we visited was maybe the biggest I've ever seen.
Then we went to Barcelona by bus. The high-speed train doesn't go there yet and the bus ride was about eight hours and enjoyable too. Our hotel room was on Las Ramblas.....what a street! Absolutely the busiest, noisiest few blocks of solid humanity with music, food and entertainment. Oh if you want to buy a bird, rabbit, cat or dog you can do that too. Our room with a balcony had a separate living room including a piano so you can imagine our surprise and pleasure. We visited museums, galleries and churches, ate at some great restaurants, walked our legs off and all in all highly recommend it to anyone. There is one proviso though. It is the capital of pick-pockets and Heather even had her purse snatched. A man came up behind her grabbed her purse and ran off. She screamed her lungs out and ran after him. When the thief encountered a group of young people and with Heather close behind him he threw the purse down with everything intact. But don't let that deter you...just be careful and keep anything of value inside your clothing!
When am I returning to France? Keep reading my BLOG to find out.