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Archive for the ‘Children’ Category

Here’s a useful new downloadable flyer celebrating the biodiversity of Montagne Sainte-Victoire – perfect if you are planning family walks this holiday.

The area has been part of the Natura 2000 programme since 2005, and this leaflet follows a review of progress made: the aim of the organisation is to conserve flora and fauna, and the physical environment, while encouraging human enjoyment of the terrain.

Their website below has a link to the pdf……leaflet in French but lots of photos help.

 

http://www.grandsitesaintevictoire.com/Le-Grand-Site-Concors-Sainte-Victoire/Les-actions/Connaitre-et-proteger-la-nature/Natura-2000-c-est-le-Grand-Site-qui-anime/Natura-2000-15-ans-deja

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Aix Town Trail for Children

The trail starts here…

The tourist office has come up with a delightful town trail for children which starts outside at the statue of Cézanne and leads them round town, pausing at 14 locations to encourage them to look for clues to answer the questions.  It’s aimed at 4-5 year olds but I think up to 10 year olds could learn quite a lot from this.

The brochure is available from the OT, in French but also in English.  Or download here:

https://www.aixenprovencetourism.com/blog/que-faire-avec-enfants-pendant-vacances-aix-en-provence/

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The oldest chateau in Provence, the Chateau de la Barben, is set to re-open in June after a 30m euro overhaul by its new owner, Vianney d’Alencon. 

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Not Fair…

…for Aix teenagers and thrill-seekers.  The annual Foire aux Maneges at the Stade de Carcassonne which was supposed to be starting on February 13th has now been cancelled.

And planned events elsewhere have had to be put back: the Easter Feria in Arles has been rescheduled for 4-6 June, and the 2021 Cannes Film Festival will now start on July 6th.  How difficult it must be right now for events organisers…

But at least there is something opening that will gladden Aixois hearts – La Poste at the Rotonde. It’s been closed since October for general renovation and improvement of digital services. Re-opens Tuesday 2nd February at 14:00hrs.

Museum closed but visitors are enjoying new content online

In other news Marseille Provence Airport has had the thumbs up for their proposed expansion, a 22,000 sq m building which link the existing terminals to provide much more space for check-in desks, baggage handling, and commercial areas such as shopping and restaurants. Of course 2020 saw a dramatic drop in numbers, but the authorities expect a return to normal growth by 2023.

Also coping with the situation positively is Aix’s Musée Granet. It’s closed, but is welcoming about 1000 virtual visitors to their site where they have bite-sized films of various aspects of the current exhibition of Egyptian antiquities, narrated by curator-in-chief Bruno Ely; also proving popular are their activities for children – check both out here:  http://www.museegranet-aixenprovence.fr/visites-et-activites.html

And to end on a positive note, there’s good news from the Carmargue where the drop in tourist numbers has resulted in an increase in the population of flamingoes.

There are 1000 more than normal and they are all apparently breeding well in the calm conditions essential to their feelings of security. The nature park, Pont de Gau, near Saints-Maries-de-la-Mer, is also welcoming birds like the ibis falcinelle and other unusual visitors.

Some reasons to be cheerful…………

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Good to see the museums re-opening, though do expect masks to be obligatory; social distancing is required too but most in Marseille are spacious and quiet enough for this to be do-able.  The three listed above – Vieille Charité, Musée d’Histoire and the Musée des Beaux Arts are all worth a visit.

MuCEM re-opens on 29th June (daily exc Tuesdays 10-20Hrs) and is free until 21st July.  New exhibition is ‘Vetements Modeles’, the story of 5 different types of clothing.

And if you want to visit Notre Dame de la Garde for one of the best views of the Med, the petit train is operating again. From what I saw on the TV news, the Vieux Port area looked very quiet and the petit train operator said they had very few customers for the moment.  A good time to take advantage of this as there are usually queues from passengers from the cruise ships.  They are operating trips around the ancient Panier district too.  Screens of plexiglass have been fitted behind each seat up to the ceiling for customer-protection. http://petit-train-marseille.com/fr/accueil/

Mask on….enjoy Marseille!

 

 

 

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A leading street artist is exhibiting in a gallery in Aix centre ville.

There’s Marseille’s first ever Oursinade

Museums are free in both towns on Sunday

……and Aix’s fun fair continues

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The monthly street-party this Sunday in Marseille sounds too good to miss.

One theme is Rugby and visitors can literally have a try on the specially constructed pitch, 25x10m, at the bottom of the Canebiere which is newly pedestrianized. Lots of animators to show how it’s done.

Elsewhere, there are workshops for Circus arts with opportunities for children to learn new skills. Programme here: https://quefaireenfamille.com/dimanches-de-canebiere/

Plus the usual produce market, street-food sales, games, and more and more restaurants open.  If you come in from Aix, parking under MuCEM is easy on a Sunday and you have a nice walk by the Vieux Port to reach the action.

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Tomorrow, 26 January, sees the return of Les Dimanches de la Canebière, (more…)

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‘Les Pieces Jaunes’ , the annual collection of all those pesky heavy centimes is taking place across France right now, an initiative from Bernadette Chirac who has been championing it since 1989.  It has funded 15,000 projects to help children and adolescents in hospital, aiming to make their time there less stressful.  Specifically, it has created 2824 bedrooms for visiting parents and 60 houses for family-use.

This year, the charity has been transitioned to the care of Brigitte Macron and Didier Deschamps who will continue this valuable work.

The problem for the Aixcentric household was that we had accumulated such a big pot of centimes that it would have overwhelmed the little collecting boxes that you will see dotted around town in shops and post offices.  Que faire??

So this week I threw myself on the mercy of people at the info-desk at Carrefour who have a large floor-standing collection box but with a very narrow slot.  They gamely took on the challenge of posting them for me and for that I am truly grateful.   Chapeau to Carrefour!

 

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The not-to-be-missed traditional Marche des Rois takes place on Sunday 12th January. It’s very well-known locally but if you are new to Aix, do make sure you get into town for this special event.

parade-for-three-kings-jp

The procession, headed by the three kings with their camels, makes its way through town and is followed by all  manner of animals and locals dressed as Provencal characters.  It’s always fun, and Aix is usually lucky to have three camels as they are much in demand across the region on this weekend! (more…)

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