So I finally got out of Lyon for a weekend. WHOA! It was amazing.
Friday: Woke up at 6AM. Got to Part-Dieu station at 8AM, picked up my tickets, met my friend, got on the TGV at 9:07 and arrived in Aix by 11AM. We couldn't check into our hotel until 1, so we stopped by the tourist office, got a map and decided to spend some time wondering around the city. We ate lunch at a place called Toran where I had my first tiramisu. Delicious. After checking in around 1:30, we explored some of the major tourist attractions such as: the boulevard Cours Maribeau, la fontaine de Roi Rene, the Musee Granet, and the remains of an ancient thermal bath. Our aimless wondering also led us to a store specializing in making macaroons and a dessert shop where I had nutella-flavored ice cream. We ate dinner at a nice little Italian restaurant. The staff actually spoke Italian! Which makes sense, as southern France used to be part of Italian territory. After all this, I managed to crash in bed around 11PM.
Saturday was full of surprises. We walked through a huge market at Place des Precheurs, where I managed to find my boyfriend a birthday present and find my brother some Magic cards. Now the only people left on my souvenir list are my parents. (Tell me what wine you want already!) Anyway, there was a lot to see. There were many vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, pastries, and spices. One booth was selling about 8 different types of honey. There were also quite a few clothing booths. Lots of cute things for reasonable prices, but I didn't really have the cash to spend on anything. I don't mind, though. I enjoyed looking through everything and watching others haggle over prices.
Other notable occurrences: a rally for the local communist party, street performances on the main square, young French people vandalizing plastic, high-end window shopping, Musee d'Histoire Naturelle.
I'll be making a separate post for the videos I took over the weekend later today. Hopefully I don't forget.