Got your attention? There’s an Iron Man comp in progress in Aix en Provence today. I discovered this by following the beat…the welcome to the finish line doof doof beat…heck it even made me want to join in! Shame I don’t rock Lycra, not in public anyway. Used to seeing the rangy, lean forms of serious competitors in Australia, I can’t help but stare at the beautifully sculpted equivalent here. Stringy calves and skinny arms replaced with quality definition, shoulder to ankle…and the bits in the middle too! (No photos out of respect)
Dragging my salivating self away, I wander up the Cours Mirabeau, lose myself and discover why Aix is oft referred to as the ‘city of fountains’.
The fountains? They’re everywhere; one of natural hot water and covered in a dense growth of cool green moss and ferns, others upholding statues of important folk or various obelisk and still more mere fonts pressed into action for hand washing, doggie drinks, cooling feet and for splashing in on a hot summer’s day.
In every square under leafy canopies and along the curved narrow alleyways there are bars and bistros spilling with beautiful people for the city is home to a huge batch of top notch Universities. I select a bar and observe the city morph into dusk over a chilled cider. Couples everywhere. Loneliness replaced with speculation as I observe a pair nearby enjoying a carafe of chilled rosé. In their 60’s, German, silent. Not a word. I suspect a companionship so comfy they simply don’t need conversation.
Markets abound. They’re fabulously enticing. Different ones almost daily. Clothing and home wares that meander for miles around half the old town. A daily lush, fresh produce market piled high with fat green and black glossy grapes, cheeses, cured meats, seafood, mushroom species I’ve rarely seen, deep velvety aubergines, baby carrots, zucchini flowers. Yes! Flower markets too, blossoms, plants and small trees abound…a fabulous feast for the senses.
Trying hard to spot a grimace but it seems the men enjoy as well. Small dogs munching on salami tit-bits, kids in strollers chewing on baby sized baguettes, me on a Palmier and all of us supping caffe, glaces, vin or a bière over a lazy lunch. Je pourrais vraiment m’habituer à ça. I really could get used to this…
Today’s mission? A snap of every fountain! Below the Cours at dusk.