Aix, The Perfect Place To Get Lost
Aix-en-Provence made me want to get lost.
We’d navigated our way to Aix, changing buses in Marseilles. We’d found the tourist information office so we could get directions to a public toilet. Then we’d followed a marked map to the conveniences, which turned out to be one euro-a-go.
The mechanics of travel. Not so exciting. No time to be bored, either, when your travel buddy is a two-year-old who is toilet training.
But when we emerged from the toilet, into the invigorating Provencal spring air, with clouds scudding across the sky and terracotta-coloured buildings towering above us, I finally felt it. The allure of exploring a new place.
I just wanted to get lost in this pretty little French town.
The laneways called us.
I stowed the map and we followed the call.
We found moody dilapidated squares.
We found intriguing fountains.
We found piazzas full of outdoor cafes.
We found lanes full of fancy shops.
We found a mysterious neglected chapel. (The sign said it was Chapelle des Ursulines Sainte-Catherine.)
We found lanes leading to clock towers.
We found the clock tower had a tunnel that led to more lanes. (A tunnel is much more exciting to a toddler than an archway.)
Oh, when you are lost in a village as pretty as this, why would ever want to get found?
When I finally retrieved the map from under Miss M’s stroller to find our way back to the bus stop, I was determined to return to Aix.
And next time, I told myself, we’ll do more than just walk and take photos. We’ll poke around the shops and we’ll sit down at an outdoor cafe and enjoy some fine Provencal fare.
A couple of girls getting lost in Aix — and enjoying it. A sign that maybe I didn’t have to give up on my dream holiday just because Darling Man can’t join us. Still too early to decide, though. We had planned on spending a month getting lost in Provence.
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10 years ago