We woke early today…..it was way too hot in the hotel room…..something that we’re no longer used to. But rising early gave us a chance to walk around this beautiful city before having to leave.
Aix is a great walking city…..off the grand avenue of Cours Mirabeau are narrow streets coming together at odd junctures. It was easy to get lost in this charming city, but that was half the fun, too……finding new surprises around every corner.
We felt very safe walking these streets. I’m sure there are pickpockets lurking, there always are, but this isn’t a city that makes you want to hang tight onto everything you own.
Aix is a hairdressers haven…..there was a salon on every street our walk took us on…..sometimes there were two, three or even four on these little streets.
As we walked on, we happened upon a Marché…..fresh vegetables, cheeses, fish were in abundance. Since it’s almost Thanksgiving, we bought some pumpkin to make our traditional pie. Pumpkins are different here…..their rind is a softer shade of orange and they’re sold by the slice.
Soon, much too soon, it was time to leave Aix en Provence…..a charming city that we hope to return to.
On the drive home to the cottage, we stopped in Marseillan to pick up Amber and Rouge vermouth at Noilly Prat…..neither flavor is available anywhere else in France and we enjoy both of them as aperitifs (although with a little Armangnac, the rouge would make a great Manhattan).
We had lunch at O Soleil, the same restaurant on the marina that we dined at during our last visit to Noilly Prat. The prix fixe menu was a great price….14.50 euros and included fresh oysters from the Etang du Thau as a starter. Craig opted for the oysters while I had a Roquefort, Walnut and Endive salad. Both were very good.
We tried their salmon for our entrée…..grilled and topped with a basil sauce. Accompaniments were ratatouille and baked potato. For dessert, we both opted for the Rouge Fruit options….Fromage Blanc for Craig and Panna Cotta for me. Everything was very good….much, much better than our first experience there.
It was a cold and blustery day so there were very few pedestrians walking along the quay but each time someone went by, the local ducks loudly honked their horns. We soon found out why. After lunch was over, one of the restaurant’s servers took all the uneaten bread out to the ducks. As soon as they saw her, the ducks….with their cacophony of “quacks”….rushed over….…..quieted only by the munching of bread crumbs. Their girth is a testimony to the generousness of the restaurant.
The hour-long drive home seemed to take forever. It felt like we’d been gone for a week…..and Felix would probably agree with that. Both of his food dishes were totally empty and his litter boxes were completely full. I don’t know if he was happier to see us or to see his staff filling his food bowl.
Bienvenue à la maison……welcome home