A few weeks ago, I was invited by Professors Larriba and Dufour to present a paper in a Seminar organized by the University of Aix-Marseille. I met Professor Dufour in a Congress about the Napoleonic Wars in Spain back in 2007. Years later, I had the privilege to have him and his successor, Pr. Larriba, making a report about my Thesis, to receive the International Mention of Doctorate. I keep the memories of these elite academic experiences as gold in my heart.
The Seminar was a total success: The French studies about quotidian life in the World Wars were remarkable, and I met many wonderful colleagues from France and Spain. But what I want to focus on here, it’s the charming location: the ancient Mediterranean town of Aix-en-Provence.
I'd never been in Aix –as I'm much more familiar with Paris and Atlantic France (Vannes is the perfect location for a weekend getaway in Bretagne) than with the Midi- and I got pleasantly surprised by its allure. The city has an historic quarter district very well-preserved. The University booked a room for me in the HotelCardinal, located in a house built in the XVII Century. The Hotel was delightful; the perfect headquarter for a weekend exploring the streets bursting with fascinating restaurants, flea markets, museums and fancy stores, all of them integrated in ancient buildings. In many corners, little religious sculptures evoked the fears of the Plague, making Aix’s cobblestoned streets a real ‘urban museum.’ Wherever you go, you find historic corners, aristocratic manors (like the Espace Vendome, with its beautiful garden) with tempting corridors.
In the gastronomic front...well, it's France! Any given “resto” can offer the most fascinating culinary experience. Three days are not enough for a full exploration, but I’ll remember with love the Cotés de porc, la blanquette de veau in the “Bistrot des Philosophes”, and la sautée de veau avec des gnoccis. Being an Academic trip, it was not the occasion for a deep wine-testing experience, but I was able to try again my favourite French beer, la Pelforth Brune.
I hope you guys enjoy the pictures and keep maintaining your blogs, as the temples devoted to cool lifestyle that they currently are.