Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mediterranean ~ Day 2, Part I

When we woke up Sunday morning, June 26th, we were in Toulon, France
Time for Momma to get her "face" on - only 15 minutes to get ready each morning!
As you can see from my eyes..."well rested" was not in our vocabulary
  Sure didn't stop me from making sure there was time for a vacation sized breakfast each morning!
Which of course...included a custom omelet! Thus, me and "The Egg Harbor" become good buddies. :-)
Our view of Toulon from the breakfast dining area
Time for our 1st Excursion.
Off the boat...and onto a bus!
 Just where are we off to? 
Vaughn & Florence joined us on our adventure!

One thing I picked up on: Mercedes were very popular!
However, the brand didn't quite represent what it does here in the states...even beat up minivans & buses were Mercedes!
Gorgeous views as we made our 30 minute trek to Aix en Provence.

Here's what welcomed us as we pulled into town
Aix is famous for its fountains. 
The largest and most famous is on the Cours Mirabeau, the main avenue through town.
Aix-en-Provence (usually simply called Aix) is a small, classically Proven├žal town, famous for being home to Cezanne. Three universities and several French-language schools for international students produce a very strong student presence.
Aix has always been a rich city. The city center is mostly pedestrian and, though it is quite small, offers long hours of nice walks. As in all Proven├žal towns, the city center consists of narrow streets, lined with interesting buildings from 17th century hotels to paved plazas.
I immediately spot out this little joint - and planned from the get go to pick up a scrumptious chocolate crepe on our way out to nibble on during our bus ride back to the boat...
You will see throughout my various posts, that I have a thing for DOORS.
I have never seen more beautiful doors than in France and Italy.
It could be a run down building, or a cement wall with graffiti, but yet the doors to get in would be stunning! 
 Oh, and the wrought iron....I couldn't get enough of it! 
On my Christmas Wish List: an imported piece of French iron to put on the outside of my home!
I also love signs :-)
A handsome gateau who caught my eye :-)

Another favorite: Cathedrals
More interesting doors...

Old Mansion
Yet another...yes, door

A quaint, outdoor Market in the town square - at this point, I really felt like I was in France! 

Is this not the most French shot ever?! I might make a postcard out of this one!

Another old mansion...
Words cannot express the beauty that lies within the walls of the many historical cathedrals...unfortunately, they don't allow photography inside :-(

Le Boulangerie
(French bakery)
(French cheese)
One after another of outdoor cafes...
The finale in Aix en Provence:
An Outdoor Market with booth after booth of local artisans - this is where we found Abby & Ella's souvenirs...handmade bracelets with "Amore" (=love) charms :-)
I adored Aix en Provence...just wish I could have spent several more hours exploring the city, practicing my French and sipping on cappuccino.
Up Next...Day 2, Part 2


MS said...

Katie, your post made me homesick!!! This time last year we were living in Marseille and frequently in Aix. It's my favorite little town in that area. *SIGH* and you were there at one of the best times of the year. The other is Christmas. Love Aix! Love the pics! Thanks for sharing.--Megan Schell

momof3girls said...

Oh my goodness! The visuals alone are to die for! The doors you found were beautiful -really pieces of work ! However the eye candy of the outdoor market was cheerful and uplifting! I didn't even get to sample the food and this looks like a trip of a lifetime. So glad that you both had a good & safe time!