Posts Tagged ‘Provence’

The bells at the cathedral in Aix rang out at 3pm, 100 years ago today, after 1561 days of silence, to mark the end of the fighting.  And by 6pm, the crowds were at the Rotonde to celebrate.

Of the 3000 men mobilised from Aix, 720 were dead, 190 disappeared and 500 left disabled. The story didn’t even end here for those left in the north of France. Despite having been away for four long years, the local regiment was involved in occupation and didn’t arrive back in town until 2nd September 1919.  What a homecoming that must have been.

But when I was writing my book (Aix-en-Provence: The Inside Story) and researching the chapter on the effect of World War 1 on Aix, itIMG_7013 seemed that there was some sort of controversy surrounding the troops from Provence but I couldn’t find details.

Then came ‘La Faute au Midi’, a new book and exhibition, which told it all and it was truly an appalling story.

Here is my post from 2014:


Read Full Post »

The first treat is the resumption of the ‘Navette Maritime’ service in Marseille.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

Lots going on. Even if these events are not to your taste, it’s worth knowing about them so you can steer clear of traffic and crowds if need be!  We once set off for Arles and met police road-blocks – we hadn’t realised there was a feria taking place: not the best day for a peaceful walk around the old town!  Here are some events to enjoy or avoid as the mood takes you… (more…)

Read Full Post »

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.




Read Full Post »


If you haven’t visited Saint-Maximin, this Sunday  (29th January)  is an excellent time to do so as it is the Fete de la Saint Vincent, when the local vignerons celebrate their patron saint.  Sixty-five of them will gather to thank their saint for the last harvest and implore his protection for the coming year. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Info for this weekend:  Seeking Matisse

                                               A Vineyard trail

                                               Bandol’s Pottery Market

Reading the British press this morning reminded me how much we have here on our doorstep in Aix to explore.  For instance, the Independent has a piece on Matisse whose exhibition ofvence_matisse_chapel_altar fabulous colourful cut-outs has just opened at Tate Modern.  The paper gives a useful Matisse trail around the Cote d’Azur, the star attraction of course being the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence.  It really is beautiful and well worth a visit.  Here is the Independent article followed by the website for the chapel which has quirky opening hours: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/europe/henri-matisse-and-his-cte-of-many-colours-9259267.html; http://www.vence.fr/la-chapelle-du-rosaire-chef-d?lang=fr

Meanwhile the Guardian has an interesting piece leading us round the writer’s Top Ten favourite vineyards in Provence (more…)

Read Full Post »

That’s a good question because for us English-speakers, it can be difficult to find out.   Here is a recommended website, a topical blog and a free book to look out for.

IMG_4717For information on places to visit and events, have a look at (more…)

Read Full Post »

When I was writing my book and researching the chapter on the effect of World War 1 on Aix, itIMG_7013 seemed that there was some sort of controversy surrounding the troops from Provence but I couldn’t find details. ‘La Faute au Midi’, a new book and exhibition, tells all and it is truly an appalling story.

On 1st August 1914, just after 3 in the afternoon, the orders for mobilisation were given – bells rang, gendarmes went to villages on their bikes and posters were plastered on to walls. Young men throughout Provence rushed to get in the harvest before going to enlist and the two companies of professional soldiers based in Aix were soon heading north. The mood was sombre but confident, soldiers expecting to be in Berlin within two months.


Read Full Post »

It always seems a little sad to take the tree down and see the Christmas activities in town coming to an end, but here are some dates.

sapins2-25th January  Collection of used Christmas trees – ‘Collecte des sapins 2014”; details here: http://www.aixenprovence.fr/Collecte-des-sapins

5th January: The closing date of the Camus Centenary exhibition has now been moved to 11th January.  A very interesting show if you haven’t been but it’s all in fairly intense French.

IMG_65845th January: Last date for the children’s roundabouts at the Rotonde. They seem to have been a great success this year. (Christmas market already closed)

But not everything is ending! (more…)

Read Full Post »

Was is news on MP2013, the latest film…or maybe a new exhibition?

No!  It was… (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »