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If lockdown / confinement has been tough for local businesses, so too are the adjustments required for working in this strange new world of social distancing.  Local teaching duo, Chantal and Fabienne, who specialised in teaching-while-touring-town, are back in business, but now using the safety of Skype.  Here are details:

Skype classes by Destination Francais: Dynamic and varied classes adapted to your level and needs

Free level test

Course-follow-ups by mail

Homework by email

Special  Covid 19 health newsletter

Monthly newsletter  of our cultural and touristic tips

Special registration offer:  1 free hour for 10 paid hours
 

Contact for more information

http://www.destinationfrancais.com

Email : destination.francais@ymail.com

 What’s app :   

Chantal : 06 86 36 76 99

Fabienne : 06 61 75 77 09

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Anxiety and Observation …both states were experienced by Susan Gish who describes Tuesday 19th May, the first day of the market in Aix after lockdown ended.

She writes: My anxiety apartment had been narrowed down to an anxiety closet the past few years since we’ve lived in Provence. It took many years from a stressful career, but I finally started to just ‘be’ and enjoy the moments. Unfortunately, with the lockdown and what has been happening in the world, my anxiety closet changed once again. This time into a full blown chateau. Although we live close enough to walk, I stayed away from the center of Aix the past two months. I took my walks away from town into the hills where I didn’t see any people, and got our food delivered. The very few times I walked into town I almost had a panic attack.

So yesterday morning going to the market I was a bit apprehensive. I put on my mask and carried hand sanitizer. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Hooray! I was really happy to see some of the market vendors that I totally missed. (more…)

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SM’ART the annual art extravaganza which normally takes place in Aix in May, is just one of the events which has been postponed, in this case to mid-September.  Others have had to be cancelled completely.

Here is a list from the tourist office: https://www.aixenprovencetourism.com/agenda-des-evenements/les-grands-rendez-vous-aix-en-provence/  Thanks to Jennifer for this useful information.

Update: if this link doesn’t work, you can reach this information via the tourist office website: go to ‘agenda des evenements’ which has a photo of the Aix Festival stage.  Scroll down and click the box headed ‘ Les grands rendez-vous’ which is where the list can be found.

 

 

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To market, to market to buy a plum cake! The markets will be opening in Aix again from Monday next week! writes Susan Gish.

(more…)

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News from the Mairie of ‘la Market Place Aixoise’, a digital map of shops open, when, where and what they can provide.

It’s to help us all quickly source supplies – and to provide a platform for shops to advertise their products, offer deliveries and contact-free payments and launch promotions.

New addresses will be added as they re-open for business. A local company has developed the platform which is free for the next few months.

A useful service for both businesses and inhabitants of Aix.

Here are details: http://www.aixenprovence.fr/La-market-place-aixoise-de-proximite

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Great news that Book In Bar will re-open on Tuesday 12th May at 10:00 albeit with slightly altered conditions.

They explain:
“We are doing all we can to provide a safe environment for everyone, while trying to hold on to the atmosphere and personality of Book in Bar that we all hold so dear. To begin, the bookshop will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm nonstop.
The sitting area of the café will remain closed but drinks and cakes will be available for take out.
Secondly, we ask that you wear a mask while at the store, as well as use the hand sanitizer provided at the shop entrance. We also request that the required social distance be respected for your own safety, that of the other clients and of our team.
We also reserve the right to limit access to the shop if deemed necessary.
We would prefer bank card payments.
Finally, the click and collect system will remain open for those who wish to avoid all contact with others. For this, place your order via our website www.bookinbar.com
or by email and collect at a given time. We are also setting up a delivery service (free from 30€ sale, for the historical
part of town).
Sadly, we have to cancel the bookclubs and any other gatherings until September.
The team is looking forward to seeing you all again”.

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Good news for cyclists as the lockdown loosens. 

Whilst they have been relatively traffic free, major routes in town are being rethought to provide extra space for people travelling by bike. 13km of road should be freed up.

From 7 May, some bus lanes are being opened up to cyclists, as well as one carriage-way on a dual carriageway road – see diagram from the mairie:

15-20 May – a similar system will be introduced on major routes: avenues Max Juvénal, Malacrida, Henri Mauriat, le cours des minims plus la route de Galice.

In parallel, work is ongoing to work out how to connect these new tracks to existing cycle tracks.  The authorities stress that this is experimental and if heavy traffic returns, the full width of the roads may be needed again; on the other hand, it may be that a shift to tele-working will take place and leave space for cyclists on a permanent basis.

More here: https://www.aixenprovence.fr/Deplacements-un-plan-a-l-essai-pour-le-velo

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, local food-banks have seen demand increase by 400% and, as a result, stocks are low.

Several charities have joined together to organise an Aix-wide collection, with the town authorities helping logistically to get the food through to the isolated elderly, the homeless, one-parent or struggling families and students. They are counting on local generosity for donations, all day 2nd May, at the following supermarkets:

Carrefour Les Milles, Géant Casino (Jas de Bouffan), Petit Casino (rue de Lattre de Tassigny), 2 Monoprix (Mirabeau et Allées Provençales), Super U (Place Romée de Villeneuve), Intermarché Club Hippique.

More here: http://www.aixenprovence.fr/Campagne-de-collecte-alimentaire

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Good for Book in Bar who are working within the current rules and regs to bring a contact-free book sales system to Aix.  This is how it will work:

  • Choose a title from their existing stock (the national supply/distribution channels aren’t working). This list can be found on their internet site or Facebook page.
  • Phone in your order, Tues-Sat 10-13hrs; or send an email to bookibaraix@orange.fr; or use their internet site
  • Collect from the shop doorway, Tues-Sat 10-13hrs – you will be given a slot
  • Payment by card preferred.

Starts 28th April

Even more good news – they are also selling take-away carrot cake, cookies and brownies!

Details: http://www.bookinbar.com/

 

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Once allowed a little more freedom to wander, this 4.7km urban walk with its views of Mont Sainte-Victoire should be just what we all need!  Another for the post-lockdown list.

It leads from the 4-hectare Parc Jourdan, down past the university faculties at Cuques, round the side of Casino St Jerome (admittedly not very scenic but has inhouse boulangerie for snacks) over to the lovely Torse park, and up past the Canal Zola to the Lycée Cézanne.  Both ends are on bus routes.

Details in the new ‘Le Mag’, the free town publication: http://www.aixenprovence.fr/Aix-en-Provence-le-Mag

Or download this map and enlarge:

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