Four years later, almost day for day, same feeling
The last time I was in Aix-en-Provence is exactly 4 years ago, plus 1 day.. And I realised that when I started to write this blog post today. On November 23rd, 2010 I was visiting Aix for the first time and interestingly I kind of felt the same thing. A feeling of easy going all over the place, people going on with there things without stress or rush. The pace is certainly slower over there compared to say, Nice or Cannes. I haven’t been there long enough to find a reason for that, but there must be one reason for sure. Can someone tell me?
Getting there early
But this time I could afford to spend much more time in Aix than the last time. Leaving very early helped avoid traffic jam and get to destination much earlier. Even better, I could leave later and see if I could grab some evening pictures with all the Christmas lighting already setup in the area. We arrived in Aix at 8h45 which was just perfect in all regards and parking was easy to find. It’s great not to lose time finding a spot for the car. That time is best invested for making pictures !
Brief history of Aix-en-Provence
Aix-en-Provence has a long history and it would be impossible to tell you everything in a blog post. But let’s try to give a short version of the story in my own words. The town was founded in 122 B.C. by the Romans (Gaius Sextius Calvinus). It is rich in culture and has seen the University of Aix-en-Provence establish as early as 1409. The very well known French painter Paul Cézanne, and famous writer Émile Zola lived and studied in Aix. The town was founded as the capital of Provence, but lost its title later on (Marseilles is now the capital of Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, aka PACA). It is however considered by many as the true “heart” of Provence. Today it sees a lot of expansion in various areas such as technology, environment, art, eduction, etc..
I found architecture to be truly amazing in Aix. There is something to see at every turn, from buildings to sculpture and fountains. Because it originates from the roman period, architecture “treasures” can be found everywhere, in everything. Saint-Sauveur Cathedral is a good start if you are interested. Ruins and foundations are visible inside the building. Some parts where built in the 1st century. I recommend you spend some time there, it’s just fantastic to find yourself in places and things like that.
WHAT'S IN THE BAG
- Leica M (Typ 240) + spare batteries x 2
- Summicron-M 28mm, f2 ASPH
- Summicron-M 75mm, f1.2 ASPH
- Olympus VF-2 Electronic View Finder
- Sony RX100 + spare batteries x2
- 64GB Sandisk Extreme Pro SD cards x 3
- Lens cloth & brush
- Apple iPhone 5
The picture above was taken at lunch time in the narrow streets of Aix-en-Provence. I found the colorful setup to be a sharp contrast with Fall’s (False!) reputation of being sad, boring and grey. This picture shows things from a different perspective.
You can find the whole picture set on my website at www.normandprimeauphoto.com.
© Normand Primeau