Where’s the Renard…? Part 3

So, thanks to my cousin, I may have found the culprit behind these renards!

Rue de la Cepede*

I don’t know if they are responsable for all of them…

Ave Robert Schuman*

or just a few…

Cours Sextius (next to IPN)*

But, I have raison to believe that they’re responsable for at least a few of them.

Rue des Magnans**

Who are They?

Rue Joseph Cabassol*

I bet you’re just dying to know…

Boulevard du Roi René***

Well, you can check out their Tumblr here. ♦

*These photos were taken in Juin 2016.

**These photos were taken in Juillet 2016.

***These photos were taken in Août 2016


La Fête de la Musique d’Aix

There’s no better way to celebrate the summer solstice than dancing around the centre-ville

…not only with amis, but also with a gazillion other strangers.

But, no need to get too claustrophobe because the ville was beyond préparée for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING!

…The ville was even préparée for children…

So, just relax and enjoy the musique because it’s EVERYWHERE!

Musique can be found from the Cours Mirabeau

to Rue d’Italie

to Place des Prêcheurs to Place de la Mairie…like I said: Everywhere!

Even the cafés, restaurants, bistros, brasseries…you name it, partake in the festivities: They set up tables that extend further along the Cours than normal.

Normalement, the fête is held around the 21 or the 22 of Juin, but this year, Aix held the fête on the 24th so as to have enough crowd police patrol. This is the FÊTE that I look forward to every year (aside from Carnaval)! It’s basically a free concert, so, what’s not to love? ♦

Festival: Immobilier & Aménagement Urbain

The first ever Immobilier & Aménagement Urbain Estivale (Summer Festival) was held in Aix from 3 Juin – 5 Juin (2016).

It took place at Les Allées Provençales: Place François Villon and Place de la Rotonde.

There were over 70 booths representing Agences Immobiliers (realtors),

New Home Builders,

Organismes Financiers (Financial), Government Associations,

and Interior Design Supplies/Idées.

This festival also showed future urbain plans for Aix.

There was a lottery game to play that offered 3 types of prizes…Sadly, I lost. But, it was free to play!

With all of these immobilier enterprises and governmental associations laid out at our feet, this festival was the festival parfait for potential buyers, sellers, and renters.

This was the first year for the fest,

so, we’ll just have to wait (a whole year) to see if this festival will be held annuellement. ♦

Where’s the…Renard? Part 2

This post took a dive into the industrial-stone forêt that is Aix and discovered renards (foxes)…Everywhere!

Rue de la glacière*

It’s really the only type of graffiti (in Aix, bien-sûr) that is intéressante.

Rue Clemenceau*

Why is it so interesting? Well, it’s an énigme:

Petite Rue des Carmes*

Why are they so present?

Rue Clemenceau*

Is it an initiation?

Le Cours Sextius*

…A prank?

Rue Lisse des Cordeliers*

Is it from high-schoolers or université students?

Rue Irma Moreau*

Is it a “gang” (the French idéal, not the Américain)?

Rue Papassaudi**

I still have no answers to these questions, but more renards keep popping up!

Rue d’Italie*

…And let’s not forget the renards with the birds!

Avenue de Tübingen*

It’s making me crazy!

Copropriété Les Terrasses du Roy -Rond Point Irma Moreau*

I want to solve the énigme!

Rue des Tanneurs.

Rue des Tanneurs*

So, until the résolution comes to me,

Rue des Marseillais*

I’m still on the “Where’s the renard?” quest! ♦

*These photos were taken in Mai.

**These photos were taken in Avril.

Free Festivals in Aix: Juin 2016

L’été brings the free (and the payant) fêtes to Aix (FYI l’été starts in Mai: Foire d’Aix, All Bikes Fest…etc…).

La Fête de la Musique Juin 2014.

The  Allées Provençales (the outdoor centre-commercial in Aix) has been working with the ville to host an array of free festivals throughout the year. This Spring – l’été, the mall offre a wide range of free fêtes called Rendez-vous Décallées. Rendez-vous Décallées not only includes festivals but also activités such as treasure hunts, games, and workshops.

This is every Saturday in Juin!

Last week-end (27-28 Mai) was the All Bikes Fest: An expo of US collector cars and bikes.

There were also non-collector cars (unless people have started collecting all Ford marques…).

En réalité, this fest was more of an auto show with an emphasis on US collector cars/bikes as non-US brands were also présentes.

In addition to this auto show, there was a dance school hosting free leçons!

There was also a concert!

Here’s a look at what’s to come this Juin aux Allées Provençales:

  • This week-end (Juin 3-5) is the Salon Immobilier. This is the first year for this estivale (summer fest), which was organisé by SEMEPA (Société d’Economie Mixte d’Equipement du Pays d’Aix), Aix, and the French version of the MLS: le portail d’annonces immobilières. This fest includes the ville‘s projection for urban development, disponible rentals and purchases, and what’s to come in urban conglomeration.
  • Juin 11 is the Euro 2016 Fest. There will be Foosball and bubble ball!
  • Juin 18 is the Journée et Bien- être. It’s a health and wellness day including nail bar, makeup workshops, and shiatsu.
  • Juin 25 is Excel Aix. This fest will include eco-friendly, hybrid, and électrique cars.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in Juin (free** and payant) in Aix (in addition to what’s happening aux Allées Provençales):

  • Juin 3-6 is Côté Vivre Sud. This fest is not free: It costs 10€, 7€ for the reduced fare; it takes place in Parc Jourdan. There are over 250 expos including demonstrations culinaires, taste testing, decorating advice for jardins, and more!
  • Juin 3-6 is also Rendez-Vous aux Jardins.* The cost of this fest dépend on the jardin you visite: Pavillon Vendôme is a free jardin public – the musée will be open and is also free, Bastide de Romégas is a jardin privé and costs 4€/ for âges 10+*, Jardin du château du Seuil is free and offre wine tastings, and Parc de la bastide du Jas de Bouffan is a free jardin public and offre Watergame (interactive art made by the art students at the Ecole Superieure d’Art D’Aix).
  • Juin 5 is Playground Cercle Basket Contest 2016.* This festival focuses on culture urbaine: Hip-hop dance leçons, musique, and urban art (such as graffiti) will be some of the highlights. The basketball contest is being held at Gymnase le Pioline and inscriptions are 20€ per team (buy tickets here)There is a free concert by LEFA de la Sexion d’assaut after the tournaments. *Watching the contest is free; however, participation on a team costs money.
  • Juin 5-6 is the Journées Antiquité Brocant. This festival is free and will be held on the Cours Mirabeau. There will be over 50 expos selling antiquités and various other items, such as books, paintings, tapis, their latest works of art etc…
  • Juin 5 is Quatuor Cadences. This free concert offre musique occidentale and orientale. It will be held at Musée Granet at 16:00.
  • Juin 5 is also the Marché du Livre Ancien et Moderne at Place Hôtel de Ville. Summary: It’s pretty much a book market with all sorts of différents types of books.
  • Juin 6-7 is the Musique de Chambre. This free Mozart inspired concert will be held at the Conservatoire Darius Milhaud at 20h.
  • Juin 11, 18, and 25 is the Marché d’Artistes Peintres et Sculpteurs. This marché will be held at Place de l’Université
  • Juin 10-12 is Festival des Livres, des Stars. This festival costs 5€, though the various celebrity encounters in cafés throughout Aix will be free. This fest is a way for auteurs and animateurs who have published something within the year to promote their works. They do dedications, conférences, and lecteurs.
  • Juin 12 is Les Calades Provençales et les métiers d’art. This festival is free and will take place on the Cours Mirabeau. Included in this festival: Potiers, glassblowers, carpenters, and céramistes from the région. 
  • Juin 24 is la Fête de la Musique. This festival is free. Musique stages will be placed throughout the centre-ville. From several artistes on the Cours Mirabeau to Rue d’Italie to Place du Prêcheurs and so forth…

Aix offre quite a bit of free fun things to do, so, choose one (or all) and have a blast embracing culture Aixoise! ♦

**Free = the entrée to the fest. However, there’s always vendeurs selling something, so, purchases can be made. The payant festivals also offre vendeurs selling stuff.

Foire (aka Festival) d’Aix

Normally, the term foire can be translated as “Flee Market”; however, this foire was more like a festival.

This year (Mai 27, 28, 29 2016), the Foire was held on Esplanade MozartSuper Héros were invited to the Foire; however, sadly, I didn’t see any.

Do you see any Super Héros?

I thought that the booths would be Super Héro themed (I figured there’d be booths of various entreprises who would be creative enough to play with this Super Héro thème), but I was wrong. This was a bit of a disappointment, but it still proved a foire intéressante.

There  were booths from various companies selling n’importe quoi: Anything from soaps…

to wine…

to Navettes were sold at this foire.

There were also booths from companies who were promoting products

…a pipes promotion….?

or activités: Anything from mini golf

to laser tag

to an outdoor labyrinthe were being promoted.

There was also a stage with a host doing animations and games.

The Foire d’Aix was nothing special, but it offre a logical way (logical for the clients – everything was lined up in front of you) for local businesses to promote themselves at the same time to the public.

I hope that this turned out to be great advertising for these businesses. ♦

Chapitre 17: Abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France

Finalement, the first chapitre out of the States!

In automne 2012, I studied abroad.

“Bienvenue en France!” Screamed everyone at the université.

But, really it was the pain au chocolat who welcomed me the most!

And, not to mention the crêpes,

the pizza,

A slice of pizza from Pizza Capri.

the gelato,

A cornet de Macaron flavored gelati from EM Edouard et Maelle.

and the 6 course meals (WOA, Gourmande!).

Aix was is the most belle ville I(‘ve) lived in.

With its cathédrale,

La Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur

old buildings,

stone sculptures,


narrow streets,


musique that can be found everywhere,

yearly-changing sculptures…I could go on forever.

It’s one raison why I live here, today.

Le Musée des Tapisseries

5 Raisons to Study Abroad in Aix:

  • Parcs. There’s no better way to read Maupassant than while lounging on the grass at Parc Jourdan ou even Parc Rambot ou Pavillon Vendôme ou…any parc (I could go on all day). The parcs are also a great way to save money on le déjeuner (lunch): bring a sandwich, cookies, vin, and voilà; you’ve got an affordable and delicious déj.

  • Crêpes à Gogo. The North is well known for their amazing crêpes, but some deliciously affordable crêpes can also be found tucked way underground in Provence. Crêpes à Gogo is every université students’ dream! A Nutella crêpe for 2.5€…What’s not to love?
  • Gare Routière. The Gare Routière, or bus station, is full of bus that will take you throughout the Aix-Marseille area for a small fee. This is parfait for université students who don’t have a car. Today (2016), it costs 6€ (1-way) on the Cartreize to Marseille; however, if you get the Cartreize pass (you can get this from any bus station that has an office), you will find yourself with even better deals: It’s 2€ for 24 hours for students under the age of 26. There are even buses that will take you to other régions and départements in the Provence area: The Lubéron, the Var, the Vaucluse, the Alpes…you name it! And, let’s not forget the buses that will take you to the north: Lyon, Paris…
  • Les fontaines!

    La fontaine moussue

    If you don’t feel up to taking a walk (maybe it’s more of a hike where you’re staying) to Parc Jourdan, you can hop on one of the edges of a fontaine or on the ground in front of one (only if it’s in a Place where the car traffic is forbidden). The fontaines make excellent study benches! With their eternal water flow offering a calming sensation, they’re the parfait spot to relax and study.

  • The nightlife. Certainement, studying abroad is for Studying…and there’s no better way to “study” than to embrace the culture, which includes the night life! The Woohoo offre a mélange of culture Française and Européenne. And hosts culture nights on Tuesday’s. If you’re looking for more of a “rockin'” crowd, Le Sunset Café offre “Génération Rock” every Samedi and Soirée Latino on Thursday’s.

    (You see: Major cultural immersion happening here!)

    If you’re looking for more of a club scene, then hit up Le Mistral. Le Mistral often hosts DJ parties. The most récent was Jamie Jones. If you’re looking for a combination of dancing + caves (think: wine cellar) then hit up IPN. IPN hosts “Girls Night Out” on Friday’s. If you’re looking for a place to watch the latest football match, then Pub O’Shannon’s is the parfait spot!

It was this semestre abroad that helped me improve my Français and made me realize that the French make the best baguettes and pâtisseries (and in the south, the best calissons)


but they fall behind the US (at least Chicago) when it comes to cocktails (yes, this knowledge is a partie importante of the study abroad expérience ;).

Note to self: France = Wine (or hard liquor); US = Cocktails.

A terrible, plastique tasting cocktail from Bar des PTT.

Whatever you discover during your time studying abroad, remember that it’s the little things that make a Big différence. Even the vendors at the marché offrent their help when you pronounce (or flat out say) something wrong. Use these corrections to buy yourself a cool glass of rosé (cue in the South of France) at the end of a long day and take in the expérience. ♦

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.