Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Guide to Aix-en-Provence, or, What I Learnt On My Research Trip

Aix-en-Provence isn't the most obvious place to go for research... unless you're studying French colonisation, in which case, like me, you'll be spending a lot of time here! Aix lives up to all the clichés, with buildings the colours of honey, an almost constant scent of lavender and sky that turns pink and then blue at twilight. The stone can be explained by the town's proximity to the Bibémus Quarries and the lavender can be explained by all the shops and street stalls capitalising on tourist expectations, but the sky is seriously just magical. It's also 100% blue most days.

So Aix is ravishing beautiful*, but Cezanne's studio is the town's biggest tourist attraction and that takes less than an hour to visit if you examine absolutely everything in the room with a magnifying glass. It's smaller than Cambridge and the museums can't even slightly compete. There isn't much to do. 

Strangely enough, this is a good thing.