Last morning in Aix – then off to Paris


Our train back to Paris was early afternoon, so we had the morning. To save time, we had breakfast in the hotel (expensive, but very good). We decided to go for one last round about walk through town.

Aix wall with rooster and jug
Funny what you see when you look up in Aix. A little barnyard scene in a window and a jug under the eaves. Huh?

Again, there were various markets in the squares and it struck us how simple it all seemed. We wondered why something like this seemed impossible in Canada. If you knew where you were going, you could easily go from square to square picking up the day’s shopping, or even something to wear. Once again, wandering through dreamland.

Aix - hippie woven bracelets
Woven cloth bands in the market. Tempting.

On the way back to the hotel we walked around the north side where we had always noticed an old church, but hadn’t gone in. Now was the time.

Aix - church nave
I’ve been in bigger cathedrals, but this one had more character than most. A collection of styles and pieces from over 1,000 years.

This was the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur, seat of the Archbishop of Aix,  and in retrospect, I wish we’d had more time there. An incredibly fascinating church, built in numerous stages from the year 500 on with various sections and additions from the 12th and 15th centuries.

Aix - cathedral columns
It’s thought that these marble columns came from the Roman temple that was on this site. No one seems to know for sure which I find strange.

The cathedral was built along a Roman road and apparently it was build on the ruins of a Roman temple (many churches were). You can see the different styles both inside and out right from Roman mosaics and columns to renaissance carving and paintings. Read more about Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur on Wikipedia. It’s worth it.

Some “interesting” and downright bizarre things in this cathedral. First, the statue of St. Mitre. Not often do you see statues that are holding their own head in their hands.

Saint Mitre
I took this shot from Wikipedia. Somehow, forgot to shoot it. According to the legend Mitre, a field worker living in Aix, was charged with witchcraft for making a miracle come true. He was beheaded but picked up his head and took it to a church in Aix. If you could do that, they’d make a statue in your honour too. You just have to believe!

And in contrast to the ancient sections of the church, they’ve had someone create a very modern sculptural throne, alter and candlesticks out of bronze and marble.

An amazing contrast to the rest of the cathedral. Couldn’t find any information about who sculpted this or when, but it’s all bronze.
Aix - alter and candlestick
A matching set.

We wandered around through the cathedral only to have security come to tell us they’re closing for the day – it was noon – and we had 15 minutes. Well, that worked out anyway.

Down the road, back to the hotel, pack up, settle the bill, and get a taxi out to the TGV station on the edge of town. A beautiful modern station, just for the TGVs.

With a reserved seat again, there was no rush. Settle in, get ready for Paris. On the way, the skies darkened and when we rolled into Paris it was gently raining. First rain of the trip.

And soon, another encounter with gypsy tricks.


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