Tuesday we (by we I mean Susan) drove to Avignon, via Aix en Provence. It was raining hard when we left Nice, and there was a massive traffic jam due to some accidents, but eventually…after about an hour of treading water so to speak, we made it out of Nice and towards Aix.
Aix is a lovely city, a University town in the middle of Provence. Cours Mirabeau is the main street going through the old city, lined by plane trees on one side and shops and restaurants on the other side. We walked down the Cours Mirabeau then toward the Aix Cathedral, with a detour in a cafe for drinks and cookies, and saw the “Hotel de Ville” or city hall, which always seem to be beautiful buildings, and the clock tower.
We stopped by the famous Four Dolphin Fountain on our way out of town. It was built in 1667 and is an example of baroque art priced by Aix’s nobility.
Aix is a town full of fountains. In the 1st century Aquae Sextiae (the town’s Latin name) began to fill with water thanks to the presence of three aqueducts: Traconnade in the north, Vauvenargues and Tholonet. Back then the fountains served mainly as a source of drinking water for the local population and troops.
After leaving Aix we drove to Avignon, just an hour…till we reached the city wall and tried to find our apartment. Many of the streets were one way or closed, but eventually we found the right street and parked inside the city wall. The old town of Avignon is surrounded by mostly intact city walls.