Time for a break.  Thanks so much for all your messages and kind comments.  Have a great summer of 2016 and see you back here for La Rentrée!

Apart from the Festival opening on Thursday, (http://festival-aix.com/en) there is a lot going on locally.

1st Start of Les Calades, the night markets, which are in the cours Mirabeau from 18:00 each night (exc. July 3, 10, 14 night marketand Aug 14)

2nd Splash!  Opening of new pool at Venelles

3rd Chateauneuf-le-Rouge is having its gourmet event: http://www.chateauneuflerouge.fr/vie-culturelle/festival-de-la-gastronomie-provencale/

barrels3rd Portes Ouvertes at Chateau Vignelaure at Rians:http://www.vignelaure.com/open-doors-sunday-3rd-july-10am-7pm  They promise tastings, art displays and free tours of their very impressive cellars.  They have a reputation of being one of the top producers in the south of France.

3rd Instants d’Ete begins.  This is a series of films in open spaces throughout the town – some great American classics this summer – see Aix tourist office website.

4th Start of Les Rencontres d’Arles – the whole town becomes one big photo expo. Lots of inspiration for photographers.

7th Start of two exhibitions of photography by Willy Maywald.  One in Aix tourist office at the Rotonde, the other at the Cézanne studio.

bowie7th Opening of ‘David Bowie the Seventies’ at Shan-Art Gallery, 3 bis Rue Fernand Dol, Aix…until 27th August.

And finally….if you love the south of France, don’t miss the Charles Camoin paintings at the Musée Granet!




Nice Photo Expo

….in both senses of the word.  ‘Un Monde Flottant’ just opened in Nice focuses on the work of MY-COUSIN-BICHONNADE-PARIS-1905-by-JACQUES-HENRI-LARTIGUE-1894-1986-C32027Jacques Henri Lartigue who was born in 1894 into a high-society French family.  Given a camera as a child, he photographed everything and everyone around him, from early aviation and sports cars, to his family, to people in the Champs-Elysees, the Bois de Boulogne or at the races.

lartigueHe especially liked action and shots of people jumping, diving and playing various sports.  Life took him to the Riviera and so he continued, living and working amongst the rich; interestingly he wasn’t particularly well 0ff and had to paint commissions to keep himself in style and his photography wasn’t discovered until he was in his late 60s.

His early photographs capture a society long-gone, with its people and their often-fleeting moments of happiness.

The exhibition is in a beautiful mansion, Theatre de la Photographie et de l’Image in Nice which will close when this exhibition ends on 25th September.  (It’s been bought to be a private school.)

It’s 10 euros to get in; but for the same 10 euros you can get a Musees de Nice pass instead…which means you can have a day of it, going from museum to museum!

An easy few-block walk takes you to MAMAC (Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain) which has floors of abstract and pop art as well as work from the school of Nice – Yves Klein and Niki de Saint-Phalle especially good; plus if you climb right up, a great view from the roof-terraces.  There’s an underground car-park here too.

IMG_1149Then your 10€ pass will get you in to the Musée Matisse a drive away up in Cimiez.  This is turn is not far from the Musée Chagall which is a colourist’s heaven………but  you have to pay separately for this one!

IMG_1108The permanent collection at the Musee Chagall is wonderful but if you wait until 9th July, you can see the new expo ‘Le Cantique des Cantiques’ which runs until 31st October.

There is a delightfully-planted garden and nice café here too.


Aix: Transport News

Two public consultations on transport initiatives are being held this week – a new slip-road to the A8 and the latest on l’Aixpress which is the ‘Bus a Haut Niveau de Service’.

The new slip-road will provide access from the A51, coming from the new sliproaddirection of Venelles, to the west-bound A8.  Currently motorists have to go on urban roads through Jas de Bouffan.

The cost, 16.62m euros, will be met by the Pays d’Aix and the work will be carried out by Vinci Autoroutes ASF.  It will start towards the end of 2018 and take 20 months.  Two bridges will cross a railway-line and a road, plus there will be a pedestrian walkway.

The website is http://www.bifurcation-a8-a51.fr and the meeting will take place  on 6th July, 18:30, at Salle du Chateau de l’Horloge au Jas de Bouffan, 50 rue Chateau de l’Horloge, 13090 Aix.

(Connecting up the A8 in the opposite direction, to the A51 north, will cost another 31m euros, and is for the future).

The new l’Aixpress bus which will run from Krypton Parking, up to the Rotonde and out to Jas de Bouffan is described in a previous post: https://aixcentric.com/2015/03/25/aix-bus-news-plus-whats-on-this-weekend/

There will be a public meeting on 5th July at 18:00hrs at the Salle des Congres in Aix.actu-aixpress

Details: http://www.agglo-paysdaix.fr/actualites/a/detail/concertation-pour-le-bus-a-haut-niveau-de-service-2089.html





First up is the work of photographer José Nicolas whose exhibition photos st trop‘Grandeur Nature’ shows his photos of Saint-Tropez and Porquerolles.
 It’s at the Galerie Maison Dauphin, 14 rue de 4 Septembre, in Aix, from 30 June – 30 July.
And now for something completely different….
Local painter and print-maker Sophie de Garam is showing her latest work at Aix’s Galerie Franck Marcelin, July 2nd – 30th. 
This gallery, specializing in all things Oceanic, is a perfect environment for Sophie, who lives nine months of the year in the South Pacific island country of Vanuatu, the sophiedegaramformer New Hebrides.  Each year she comes back to her native Provence with new treasures: natural pigments, waxes and resins, Japanese papers, and new cultural/pictorial themes charged with meaning derived from their use in cultural contexts so different from our own.  
This year it is old baskets and other vessels made from pandanus or screwimage1 pine.  “They represent the world of the hard working women who are the multi-taskers and the matriarchs, the reliable souls of Vanuatu.”  She came upon these during a week-long scramble across the muddy jungle of Malekula Island. … “They have a beautiful organic structure and at the same time something wild and free,” she explains.
Two interesting displays to dip into from next weekend.

laNavetteM(3)Today sees the beginning of a new navette (water taxi) service from the Vieux Port down to Les Goudes (8€).

Visit Les Goudes by navette straight from the heart of Marseille

Visit Les Goudes by navette straight from the heart of Marseille

This is in addition to the existing services to Pointe Rouge and, in the opposite direction, to l’Estaque (5€).  It’s a great way to see this amazing city from the sea, skipping down the coast past all the traffic, and landing in interesting places to explore / eat lunch.

But there is trouble afoot in Pointe-Rouge in that the 11 restaurants and snack bars on the beach were threatened with demolition earlier in the year but have been given a stay of execution so they can make the most of the summer season.

What’s the issue?  The State is exercising its right to return the ‘domaine public maritime’ ie the coastal strip to its natural state, demolishing any buildings that have infringed on the public right-of-way.  This means that these restaurants which are largely terraces and decking will  have to go.  Plans show a public walkway across their existing premises.  Full details are here: http://www.laprovence.com/article/societe/3939763/marseille-les-restos-de-la-pointe-rouge-font-de-la-resistance.html

So enjoy it while you can!  We had a tasty lunch at O’Pedalo, one of the restaurants threatened with closure. And afterwards, you climb from their terrace down a ladder on to the beach to paddle back for the boat. It’s quite a  unique experience!

Back to Marseille, someone asked me a while ago about public transport from IMG_1072Gare St Charles to MUCEM.  I normally use the metro but that does involve a walk…so was pleased to try out the electric bus – the 82S leaves from very near the platform where the Aix bus stops, and takes you to La Joliette (for Terrasses du Port), MUCEM then the Vieux Port.

Users of Gare St Charles station can rest in an unusual waiting room/café, on Platform A, Viens Attendre.  It has been open for a couple of years now and it was good to revisit it and see how popular it is.  There are sofas, a book area, magazines, games – and a selection of savoury tarts and patisseries.

IMG_1095Only the sight of trains gliding past the windows reminds you that you are in a station!

Open daily, 7-19:00Hrs.IMG_1098


le tholonetLes Nuits Musicales du Tholonet has just begun in the Parc du Chateau du Tholonet.  Tonight, 25th June, the programme includes various choral groups including the Marseille soul singers, while tomorrow the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Pays d’Aix will be playing Beethoven’s Symphony no 4 and Schubert’s Symphony no 3.  Both concerts start at 21:00 and are free.

feteducinemaIt’s sometimes a relief to go into the cinema on these hot days of summer, so good timing for the annual La Fete du Cinema which runs from 26-29th June.  It is 4 euros per entry.

Another annual favourite is La Provence’s summer issue of ‘A Table’ which reviews all the latest on the local restaurant scene.  And, as usual, they have their unmissable round-up of the best wines of the summer.  It’s just 3,90€ at kiosks and is a fund of information!a table