Night Location: Aix-en-Provence, France
Song of the Day: Hollywood - Michael Buble'
Mumisode of the Day:
1. When we were following a small car, containing four big men, along a campground track, heading for the lake, Mum drew the line and said, "Are we ever going to get there?"
2. While ordering the 'Cunard' (duck), the waiter advised Mum that it was served pink. She looked horrified and said, "Oh I want it well cooked, WELL DONE!"
We are now on our last night in Aix. We have been staying in a gorgeous penthouse apartment that overlooks the city and the mountains. We have watched the sun rise and the sun set, and through the windows we have seen the full moon rise. We are including the highlights of the past few days.
We left Eze and travelled along yet another corniche toward Grasse, the perfume capital of France. After a tour of the perfumery and purchasing the signature scent, we continued on. The drive continued through the Grand Canyon of France. The canyon plunges to 500 metres in depth and the road hugs the cliff. From here we headed for the lake, where the Navman, affectionately now named Claude, (every day we await with terror Claude's Clanger) directed us into a campground where Mum lost it, and instructed Dad to "Go straight to Aix, and go really fast." After this event, we decided never to put the Navman on 'Scenic' as this was 'Fastest'.
The apartment, being the penthouse, is located on the sixth floor, complete with original lift (cage suitable for one person and one bag only). On the fourth trip up, the lift packed it in and stayed at Level 6. Dad who was at 0 yelled "What are you doing up there?" After 10 minutes of waiting, he decided to head up the stairs. He arrived some time later, gasping, and asked Mum, "Where do I go and die?" She directed him to the bedroom.
In order to recover from the transit day, everyone except Mum slept in to well past 10am. Mum, who had discovered her favorite household appliance the evening before, and who had already put through two loads, had been up with the sun, washing. She was very happy. Amber and David bough fresh croissants (SANK KWAS-ONT - said in Kung Fu style by Amber) from the fantastic bakery across the street.
The rest of the day was spent wandering through the old town of Aix. We stopped at many pattisseries, bakeries, creperies, cupcakeries and the macaroon shop. There was a lot of eating done. David cooked us a fantastic meal of stuffed tomatoes and greek salad.
Next day was another driving adventure. We headed for Gordes, down into the foothills to an ancient abbey that is surrounded by lavender fields. The Cistercian monks definitely know what they are doing. From there, we headed to Avingnon, to see the papal palace and half-bridge.
Next stop, Pont-du-Gard, an aqueduct built at the time of Julius Caesar which supplied the city of Nimes with water for many years. It was the definite highlight of the day. We had packed a picnic lunch and we ate our baguettes overlooking the river and the pont. Amber and Daivd went exploring and found an original Roman tunnel that the water from the aqueduct would have been pumped through and some more remains of the original aqueduct.
The final stop was the tiny hilltop village of Les Baux-de-Provence. This is another fortified cliff top stronghold, reportedly founded by the knights of Magi, descendants of Balthazar, one of the three wise men.
Gemma cooked dinner, and we set about the massive task of packing our overnight bags once again.