Tomorrow (Friday 3oth January) there will be a flash ticket sale Continue Reading »
Aix must be a paradise for archaeologists: building work in town so often yields ancient foundations and sewers, but sometimes sumptuous Roman mosaic dining room floors, everyday pottery and glass from the table, and even jewellery, oil lamps and statues. They date from around 2000 years ago when Aix was the first Roman town in the first Roman province, hence the name Provence.
These are all on show right now at the Musée Granet.
Who would enjoy it?
1. Aix residents. Little maps show you where in town these items were found.
2. Visitors who enjoy immersing themselves in Roman life.
3. Those liking a bargain – it’s free on Sunday 1st Feb! (Otherwise 5€)
Thanks to the Granet and the Direction Archéologie de la Ville d’Aix en Provence for the following photos which will give you a taste of what you can see…
On the theme of helping people escape during the Occupation, here is a thrilling account of the experience of a Church of Scotland minister, Donald Caskie, who at great personal risk saved around 2000 Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen. He had been the minister at the Scots Kirk in Paris but gave up a place on the last boat to leave France for England; instead he went to Marseille and set up the British Seamen’s Mission near the Vieux Port.
This was dangerous work, and despite the constant threat of capture and execution, Caskie showed resourcefulness and courage as he aided thousands of servicemen to reach the Spanish border. Finally arrested and interrogated, he was sentenced to death but was saved through the intervention of a German pastor. After the war, Caskie simply picked up where he had left off at the Scots Kirk in Paris, where he served as minister until 1960. He was a truly brave man.
One of my Aix friends knew him after the war and said that the members of his church in Paris didn’t know about his bravery during the war. What an antidote to our current pseudo-celeb culture. ‘The Tartan Pimpernel’ is available on Amazon and a ‘must read’ for people in Provence.
They are designated ‘Juste parmi les Nations’. There are 25,000 worldwide, 3,700 in France and more than 20 in the Aix area. These latter people are remembered in a small square in town, where each plaque bears a story of tremendous courage.
Below you can read the story of Auguste Boyer who was a perimeter guard at the camp at Les Milles. He managed to literally smuggle women and children out of the central area and through the fence; both he and his wife kept them hidden at their home until they could be sent to safety.
Finding the square: from the Rotonde, walk down the main shopping area of Les Allées Provencales; cross the road next to H&M. Carry on down through the shops and then cross the road next to Monoprix. There you will see the olive trees and plaques. It’s next to the Grand Theatre de Provence.
Totally absorbing – that was my reaction to ‘Imitation Game’ which opens tomorrow at the Cézanne. It tells the story of Continue Reading »
The Arc valley provided an ideal habitat for these big beasts and the local Museum d’Histoire Naturelle is mounting an exhibition to show off some of their collection which will include the remains of a new large carnivorous dinosaur found during excavations when they widened the A8 motorway. Continue Reading »
Lots of sales going on at the moment across France, but the most unusual must be the massive auction of items from the famous, glittering Hotel de Paris in Monaco.
As part of its renovation project, they will be selling off all manner of items from the hotel Continue Reading »