The first city that comes to mind when everyone thinks of France is Paris. Although Paris is lovely, it is different from the South of France. Paris is where you go to be overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the art, the shopping, the people, and the streets. There is an energy around Paris. An energy that is entirely different from the provence. Paris is New York and Provence is California. You go to the South of France to relax, delicately soak in the culture, and stroll through life.
the city of ships & Old Port
The main attraction in Marseille is the Notre Dame de la Garde. This basilica was built in the mid-19th century in the Roman-Byzantine style. Even if art history doesn’t interest you, the inside of this basilica is worth the visit. The design on the arches is similar to that of the Mosque of Cordoba.
I wasn’t able to stay until sunset, but if you are, definitely go around that time! I’m sure the pictures from up here will be beautiful and romantic.
the city of art & fountains
In Aix-en-Provence, Grace and I went on a walking tour of some of the main sites (Cours Mirabeau, Saint Sauveur Cathedral, & Place d’Albertas). The city is a beautiful place to walk around because there are so many lovely stores, restaurants, fountains, and buildings with French architecture.
Once the walking tour was over, Grace and I made sure to go inside some of the stores. One of the places we went to was an amazing French macaron bakery. Inside was every flavor of macaron you could imagine. I am not the biggest fan of macarons, but if I was, I would have got a huge box of them. However, these macarons were AMAZING. Far better than any macaron I’ve had in The States. If all macarons tasted that good, I would have been a bigger fan when it comes to these delightful cookies. Not only were the macarons great, but so was the woman working there. After having been to Paris, I assumed all French people hated their jobs. Usually the service in Parisian stores isn’t pleasant. I find them to be very rude to everyone. Either they will rush you out the door or follow you around the entire store. However, everyone in Aix en Provence was very pleasant and happy to see us walk inside.
Where we ate: Les Macarons de Caroline and Tutti Frutti, 3 Rue de la Couronne, 13100 Aix-en-Provence, France
Lavender is famously grown in the South of France, so of course I went into all the lavender stores we saw (& there was a lot!). I went home with a small bar of lavender soap for my father since that is his favorite scent of soap. Something I wish I had the opportunity to do is visit a lavender field while I was in Provence. There are tours that depart from Aix-en-Provence to the largest lavender field in the South of France here for anyone who’s interested. If you get the chance, please go for me. & tag me (@aylaboswell) on Instagram so I can see them.