Posts Tagged ‘en Balade’

As the snow whirls down today, it’s hard to imagine hiking, but surely spring weather is round the corner?  Let’s hope so for the ‘Semaine de la Randonnée en Provence’ which starts this weekend.

There are 80 hikes to join, free and open to all.  It’s an initiative by the Conseil Departmental des Bouches du Rhone, Provence Tourisme and local hiking groups: there are some lovely walks on offer right across the region.  Have a look at the list here: https://www.myprovence.fr/agenda-culturel/sport/provence/142072-semaine-de-la-randonnee-en-provence.  25th – 31st March.

If you can’t join these, their website offers Les 5 Plus Belles Balades de Printemps, with detailed maps and ideas of places to eat/visit, that you can do under your own steam.  These are:

Very useful info for future outings…

….as is the latest issue of ‘En Balade’ which focuses on ‘Escapades Avec Vue’.  Most hikes in Provence have amazing views so it must have been difficult to choose their ten recommendations which range from Crestet and Cadanet to Toulon and Trets.  The magazine also covers weekends, what to do/where to stay/where to eat etc. In this issue they visit Les Baux and the area around Montagne de Chabre and Sisteron for the seriously sporty.  Produced by La Provence, on sale at kiosks, a bargain at 2,80 euros.




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News from Marseille

sport logoWe’ve had a great year of culture – maybe next we’re in for a year of sport?  Marseille has won through to the final round to be chosen as the Capitale Européenne du Sport 2017.  The other finalist (more…)

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Best-selling author Harlan Coben was due in Aix tomorrow, April 2nd, signing books at Librarie Goulard in the cours Mirabeau. Luckily I just double-checked the website and it has been cancelled. 

If you want to read about more local skulduggery than Coben’s usual baddies in New York and New Jersey, here is an interesting article about Aix mafia in L’express 28/2/2013 http://www.lexpress.fr/actualite/societe/aix-en-provence-la-rancon-de-la-pegre_1225322.html  Thanks to Anne for this link.

CORSES_1362663840_82x110Understanding the local ambiance is fascinating for me.  I have never lived in a place with so many different groups bringing their own distinctive ways of life to the area.  La Provence has published one of their hors-series, Les Corses.  The sub-head is ‘Ils Ont Fait La Provence’ and they really have.  There are interviews with sailors, l’OM players, sports managers, lawyers and artists who all describe their roots back in Corsican villages. Migration has been going on for centuries, from the island to various parts of the south of France, but this accelerated after WW1when there were many unfilled posts in Provence in the civil service and in shipping.  The supplement profiles some of the people whose families were part of this wave and moved into the Panier in Marseille or La Ciotat.  They were mainly large families with extensive connections and so they quickly built up their businesses.  The supplement comes right up to date with info on Corsican delicacies – and les bonnes adresses corses in Marseille, Aix and Nice.  I found it very interesting!  3,50€.

There is also a new issue of ‘En Balade’ at the news kiosks.  Assuming that the sun is one day going to come out, this will be an excellent guide to walking in the Provencal countryside.  They have a list of ten hikes around scenic villages and also details on upcoming village fetes. 

If it does continue to rain this week, the cinema is always a good option. http://www.lescinemasaixois.com/films/prochainement

camusThere’s the adaptation of Camus’ autobiographical book ‘The First Man’ at the Renoir.  In VF and VO (Arabic I guess).

Then lots coming up on Wednesday.  ‘11.6’ is the story of Tony Musulin, security-van man of Lyon who decided, with 11.6m€ in the back to just keep driving……French only but stars Francois Cluzet who is just so watchable!  ‘Secondary Effects’ is the last film from Steven Soderbergh and has had good reviews. VO and VF. ‘Perfect Mothers’ stars Naomi Watts and Robin Wright as mothers who develop more than a passing interest in each other’s son….and finally there is ‘Quartet’ quarterwhich tells the story of a group of ex-opera singers in a retirement home who put on a special performance. In VO which should mean English but in the case of the wonderful Billy Connolly, maybe not…..

Finally, if you are trying to entertain children in this bad weather, here is a tip sent in.  “My boys went to a birthday party yesterday that was held in part at a Marseille indoor skate park, popularly known as Palais de la glace et de la glisse.   3 euros for the skateboard section, boards and scooters only, must have or can rent helmet  (apparently, BMX is possible but at different times): http://www.palaisomnisports-marseille.com/


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What does this picture suggest to you?  It is the image on the poster advertising the expo ‘Les Bouches du Rhône – Agnes Varda’, currently showing at ‘Galerie d’Art du Conseil General’ which is just down from Monoprix. Varda is a distinguished film-maker with a long record of success in the cinema, but I didn’t know that she is also a photographer.

I thought that the image above  was just a surrealistic notion until it was explained, when I got inside, that it represents Les Bouches du Rhône!  Of course!  The exhibition plays with place names in this manner with a series of photos taken around Marseille and also includes film recreating photos.  It’s only a small exhibition but if you are in town, very well worth a visit.  Free.  Until 17th March.  9.30-13, 14-18:00hrs.  Closed Mondays.

While on the subject of the Rhône, if you missed the wonderful exhibition of ‘César et les secrets du Rhone’ which was on in Arles and then in the Louvre, all the exhibits can be seen at the Archives et Bibliotheque Departementales Gaston-Deferre

It is a truly moving moment to see these objects which have been raised from the river bed, now on view for the first time in over 2000 years.  Since their initial showing, questions have been raised as to the identity of this bust.  Is it really Caesar?  Maybe we will never know.  But it is a wonderful sculpture of a Roman aristocrat in his middle years showing the cares of life all those centuries ago.  Until 24th March.

In Aix this Sunday remember that the Musée Granet is free on Sunday so you can catch up with the new expo ‘Cadavre Exquis’ which is, shall we say, different – plus there’s the book market in the Place de l’Hotel de Ville where you can browse amongst lots of out-of-print books.  For cycling fans, the season that will bring the Tour de France to Aix (July 4th), there is La Ronde d’Aix taking place in town.  Amateurs start at the Rotonde at 13:15 followed by the professionals at 14:30 or 50 depending on which paper you read!

And finally……….if you want some exercise rather than watching others racing around, there’s the new issue of En Balade.IMG_4719  This time they have given details of hikes themed around famous local writers and painters.  I’m particularly drawn to the ‘hike’ around Lourmarin with a Camus theme – 1.15hrs, completely flat and officially ‘facile’  Sounds good to me!

En Balade is 2.80 at kiosks and a mine of information.

Have an excellent weekend!

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No excuse for being bored! 

Saturday 13th October sees the opening of a new exhibition at the Musée Granet, ‘La Montagne Blanche’.  Photographer Bernard Plossu has spent much time walking around and up the Sainte-Victoire, a mountain he loves, and the exhibition will show 107 of his pictures.  In parallel, the Vieille Charité will have an expo of 230 photos of Marseille, taken over the past 15 years.  It must be a challenge finding new angles for both these subjects so it will be interesting to see what M. Plossu has produced.

While on the subject of our famous local mountain, the Maison de Ste-Victoire launches its expo on the Priory tomorrow.  It was a shock to me when I first climbed up there to find an entire church!  Apparently it dates from the 17th century and was renovated fairly recently.  Poor workmen. It’s bad enough hauling a rucksack up there. 

Now, I have read about this new show in the local press but can’t find any confirmation online.  The Maison de Ste-Victoire is at Saint-Antonin and is a beautiful place to sit and have a coffee.  It’s open daily 10-18:00hrs.  Aixcentric will investigate!

If you are interested in local history, the Académie d’Aix is holding a study day on Saturday at the Cité du Livre, with their eminent members giving half-hour talks on different aspects of life in town 1900-1912.  It’s to launch ‘Aix au Temps de Paul Arbaud’, a new book celebrating the life of the collector and academician.  9:30-17:00hrs. Free.  Thanks to Simone for this info.

If you prefer to get out of town and enjoy the countryside, check out the new issue of  ‘En Balade’ which has just hit the news-stands. This has lots of ideas for outings including 10 hikes, each accompanied by tips on where to eat and where to stay.

The destinations featured for weekends away in this issue are Avignon and Hyeres.

And finally…….the Fête de la Courge takes place this weekend in Rians.  It’s great fun.  I had no idea that courges came in so many different shapes, sizes and colours. Don’t miss the competitions for the heaviest/strangest-shaped courge. Lots of stalls – Rians is very much en fête for this event – well worth a visit.  Easy parking in a big nearby field.  http://www.fetedelacourge-rians.fr/ This website has details, recipes and information on all the different types of courge!  Thanks to Nasse for this tip.



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This weekend sees the start of the Printemps du Cinema event – during 18th-20th March, admission is 3,50€ per film.  There are a lot of new films on at present in Aix so a good idea for Sunday if the forecast rain arrives.

Or….Sunday at 16:00pm you can visit St Jean de Malte for a concert of English Baroque Music – Purcell and Handel – free.

Or…if the rain holds off, enjoy the countryside.  ‘En Balade’ is on sale at news kiosks and is well worth the 2,80€ investment.  They have full details of 10 hikes, from a ‘via ferrata’ hike in the southern Alps with fearsome chains, ladders, swing bridges and a dénivelé of 250m to a walk in the Camargue with a dénivelé of zero!  All the walks have maps plus details of where to eat, sleep and find craftspeople nearby. Also included – ideas for a weekend in either Isle sur la Sorgue or Marseille.

Bon weekend!

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