Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pic of the Day: Morning Dip in La Rotunda Fountain

There is a beautiful fountain at the main Rotunda in Aix. Among its adorations are lions, angels, dolphins, and an occasional early morning swimmer!

The Skinny in Brief...

"Its construction in 1860 marks a turning point; not only are its dimensions exceptional for this city but it is also the first to have a fonted basin. Three statues: Justice, Agriculture and Fine Arts adorn the fountain and recall the main activities of this town. In effect the fountain was a symbolic mark of the entry to the modern town, without rampart nor gate, open to the world. Aix has grown now and today the "great Fountain" is at the centre of the town."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Designer's Delight

In and around town, little shops draw me in with their beautiful window displays of clutter and stuff that no one needs but they look so nice and say "wouldn't you like to buy some more clutter?" I would! But luckily I'm on a tight budget, so I take pictures instead and I'm sharing them with you so that we can both delight in my finds!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pic of the Day: Fountain Dog

Here in Aix there are certain dogs that I see frequently roaming the streets on their own, dashing here and there in in their own familiar scurry! Today, there was a dog who randomly found his way into our school cafeteria...don't know where he came from but he seemed to know where he was going!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Idea of the Day!

TO DO Lists...
we all make them, but how many of us actually complete everything on our to-do list? Or feel guilty for not getting to it all? Essentially they give us peace of mind and help to organize our daily tasks, but I encourage you to readjust your thinking! Instead of making a to-do list, make a
DONE list
and see what you've accomplished at the end of the day! woo-hoo!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gimme-a-kiss, Eh?

Interested in curious day to day treasures? Check out another Carolina blogger's finds:

Pic of the Day: Repelling from Mt. Luberon

the pic is a little fuzzy but so was my stomach!

For a team bonding activity, the MGIM group and I practiced falling into each others arms - trust; finding the answers to complicated riddles while inventing a product design - problem solving; and repelling off a 200ft mountain cliff - expanding our zone of comfort all in an effort to be more INNOVATIVE.

In the Mean Time...

See: Edith Piaf Movie - La Vie en Rose starring Marion Cotillard (compliments of Victoria)

Read: Puddinhead Wilson, by Mark Twain (recommended by Emily)

Listen: Madeleine Peyroux's Careless Love (thank you Jennifer)

Watch: Oprah FlashMob Dance (inspired by Barbie)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pic of the Day: Beachside Cassis

Gorgeous Cassis is a 45 minute drive South of Aix and East of Marseille in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. It's a popular destination for tourists and hikers who spend day trips hiking the calanques to Marseille. A French girl in my class said that she and her boyfriend did the hike in two days last fall and camped outside under the twilight! Also fascinating is that the rock at the base of the Statue of Liberty comes from Cassis and was given to the US from France. Neat!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

24 Hours in Arlés

Arlés ("arr-ele")...a long history briefly...courtesy of the tourist office...

"Occupied first by Celtic tribes, then by a Greek colony, Arlés became Roman when Julius Caesar gave the colony to the veterans of his legions. That was known as the first Golden Age of Arlés, “Rome in Gaul”. Starting from the earliest days of Christianity, the city became an important religious center. Destroyed and ravaged by invasions during the Middle Ages, Alrles was rebuilt during the 12th century."

24 Hours in Arlés One of the things I really like about small cities in France is the predictability of their layouts: church and post office in the center with a loop surrounding the exterior and a canal or river separating one side from another (sometimes). Last weekend two friends and I took a bus from Aix ("X") to Arlés France for only 2 Euros there and back - yey for student discount. The hour and a half drive through the country was lovely and it was nice to be tourists again! Another thing that is often predictable of many small cities in France is that there is usually a tourist office near the bus drop off. And indeed, the tourist office was our first stop and the people inside were very helpful! In a matter of minutes we decided to stay for the weekend and used their fantastic multi-lingual services to book our evening's dwellings. Post hotel-booking, we headed out to see the small city which was in the throws of celebrating their Roman history with reenactments and costumes galore. That night we saw the reenactment of a Roman gladiator show “Spectacula” in an actual Roman coliseum filled with joustings, chariot races, sword fights, wrestling, captured slaves, robed audience members and the fowl smell of a 4th century plumbing and sewer system – it was very convincing!

After that we headed towards a well known location – Café Van Gogh, where we took pictures of the site made famous by the painter who lived in Arlés, but opted out of sitting for a coffee. Instead we sat for an ice cream across the square!

During our stay we also checked out some ancient catacombs which are currently located under the mayor’s office; ate Provencial cuisine; and waltzed around the Van Gogh gardens. Although brief, it was a splendid trip indeed!

Pic of the Day: Rainy Rue Cardinale

Took this pic walking back from the Cezanne - Picasso exhibit in the rain.