I thought I posted this but went to send the link to someone here on the France Travel Forum and couldn't find it. So, here is a long overdue bit of a trip report about our month in Aix-en-Provence last fall. I won’t go into all of the details day-by-day but will provide an overview and am happy to answer any questions other travelers might have. I had so much help from this group, and I truly appreciate all of the support. Special shout-out to Darcy :)
And we're off!
We had a 5:30 a.m. car pick us up for the drive to LAX. Our 8:30 am flight left on time and we departed from LAX, connected through Chicago on United. LAX was a breeze but O’Hare was a bit unorganized. Still in the height of Covid, airlines didn’t have a buttoned-up process in place to check paperwork and vaccines. With a 3-hour layover in Chicago, there was no reason for us to stress. After standing in a long line at our gate to receive the proper bracelet, we boarded our plane bound for Paris. As we were ready to push back, our female captain came on the intercom and said there were a few people whose connection got in late and we were going to wait for them. With such few flights to Europe, this seemed the humanitarian thing to do. Life had slowed. Priorities had changed. No one had a problem with departing late. Upon landing, I sought out this female captain and told her how proud I was to be a passenger on her plane.
The long haul – 19 hours – was complete! We landed in Paris!
Quick and efficient process at CDG. No one checked our vaccine cards, only our passports. But our journey wasn’t over yet -- we were off to catch our train to Aix. We had built three hours into our schedule to get our bags and to the train station at CDG. It was more than enough time. Our TGV left for the Paris Disney station where we were supposed to have just under an hour until our next train. However, our OUIGO train had a mechanical problem. It pulled into Marne-la-Valle Chessy an hour late. But there it sat. There we sat. We waited on the train, we waited off the train, we finally got a new train and departed three hours late. Arriving at the Aix-en-Provence TGV Station after dark, we followed people to the bus to take us into town.
30 hours later we were finally at our destination. C'est la vie.
Our apartment was a dream! Located in the heart of Old Town on a beautiful street it was exactly what we wanted. We woke up with a bundle of energy to go explore what we be our hometown for the next four weeks. The chatter on the street was beckoning so we ventured out to the picturesque Place Richelme with its warm-colored buildings, plane trees and many cafes surrounding a bustling market. We picked up some orange bread then walked along the uneven winding streets to the Place de Justice where another market was in full swing. There were several vendors selling from big pots of paella, large ovens roasting chickens and many other delicious-looking dishes. We picked up paella and poulet bio basquaise with pomme de terre to have dinner that evening. Then back to Place Richelme where we settled into Café l’Unic for café sitting, people-watching and coffee. It was the perfect French morning! Week one highlights to come.