Our last full day in Provence we went to Aix-En-Provence, the birthplace and longtime home of Cezanne. There are so many Cezanne places in the city that one could go crazy trying to see where his sister lived, where his father did his banking, etc. We chose to concentrate on some locations where he is known to have painted.
Our first stop was his house. We couldn’t find it. However, we did learn later that he did in fact live in about 7 different houses in Aix. Perhaps that’s why the GPS had difficulty finding it! The second stop was Cezanne’s final studio. This large building was built for him by his sister. It is a glorious 2 story structure that is every artist’s dream. Unfortunately, it is small, crowded with tourists, and no photos are allowed.
Our third stop was a hill 2 kilometers from his studio where Cezanne painted almost 40 paintings of Mount Sainte Victoire. The city has made it into a walking park and displays 10 prints of the oil paintings done from this location. The city has spread out and covered Cezanne’s hay fields with houses, but the view is still quite spectacular.
Our fourth “stop” was a bridge that he painted from. However, there was no parking nearby and the picturesque bridge is overgrown with shrubs and trees. Therefore, we did a drive by.
Our fifth stop was a series of stops along a road that Cezanne favored for views of Mount Sainte Victoire. It is a small country lane that drives toward the mountain, so as you go it looms larger in your face. We found one place with beautiful perspectives. To our astonishment we discovered that the field in which we were standing was filled with snails. Those little white things you see all over the plants are not flowers! I have attached a few photos from the day.
The last couple of days we spent taking a leisurely (although on toll roads) drive north to Paris. We followed the Rhone River north to Lyon and then crossed over to the Saone River valley and followed that to Beaune. From there is was through Burgandy to Paris. We stopped overnight in the village of Nitry, just a few kilometers from Chablis. Guess what wine they serve! A delightful dinner at Auberge La Beursaudiere topped our day.
Today we arrived back to our Paris home, and it does feel like returning home. After unpacking the car we successfully found our way to the rental place to return it. We put almost 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) on it in the last six weeks.
JP greeted us at the apartment and to our surprise we found that Elli received a kidney transplant yesterday! She has a long recovery process ahead, but the surgery went well. This has been long awaited with no prediction when matching kidneys would become available. We’re not sure if we will be able to visit her before we must leave for London. However, we certainly hope so.
Just a few days here and then back to London. In three weeks we will be in Seattle.