1990-03-30: Aix-en-Provence

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Mike1:

30 Mar, 1216, Mallemort

Went (walked) to market in Mallemort. At regular store, got canned goods etc. At Fri open-air market got dried apricots (40 F/kg), strawberries from Spain (25 F/kg), roast chicken (45 F/kg). Carried all back & ate fresh stuff (chicken still warm). Delicious! And no sauce other than natural juices of chicken, so C loved it! Must look for markets more often.

30 Mar, 2007, Mallemort

Drove to Aix-en-Provence to see famous Blvd & E bookstore; bought C Don Quixote (she has finished 3 Musketeers, but they didn’t have any other Dumas) & a couple of others. Also stopped at B & R for ice cream & sat at their sidewalk cafe. Better than home.

Forgot to mention: In Camargue saw museum at roadside with traditional gypsy carts. Every May European gypsies go to Camargue, but nowadays they use regular house trailers & campers; we’ve seen several groups of them during the trip.

On return to gite, left C reading while S & I walked into Mallemort again. S called Florence & we bought pastry & more groceries. S cooked spaghetti (from Italy!) & made sauce from can, with added mushrooms; peas, strawberries from Spain, Nestle Quick rounded out meal. Packed as much as possible for tomorrow’s move.

Mike2:

30 Mar, 1216, Mallemort

This was the first market that we really used the way the locals do. In Sarlat, it was more like a fair (for us), where we looked at goods of many kinds (e.g., clothes, tools, vegetables, potted plants, toys), but didn’t consider it for day-to-day stuff. Also, it was just a part of that day’s planned trip. In Mallemort, it was only a half mile from the gite, and emphasized weekly food shopping needs. We bought food much as the locals were, and considered it a great success. For the rest of our trip we were on the lookout for these markets, which are typically held once a week in each area. The fresh fruit and vegetables at this time of the year were largely from Spain. In supermarkets we also saw some from Israel and other Mediterranean countries.

30 Mar, 2007, Mallemort

Aix has the ‘most beautiful street in the world’, which turned out to be a broad boulevard. On the south side are many businesses (banks, travel companies, shops). On the north side are many restaurants, where people sit in the sun and enjoy leisurely meals. We didn’t feel like eating while there, but spotted Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors. Went in and ordered ice cream, and sat in the sun just like everyone else. The selection in the English-language bookstore was a little disappointing; prices pretty high too, although many used books at lower prices. Many books for French to learn English for business and other specialized use. One book we got was Kipling’s Kim; Chrissy couldn’t get into it, but I read it during the rest of the trip. Since we returned home, I have been reading it to her, explaining as much as necessary; great fun.

We spotted gypsies from the first few days of the trip. Typically a group of about five cars, trailers, and campers would be set up near one of the better roads. They were set up as a campsite, with clotheslines (which is probably what caught our eye), and general look of a camp, not too tidy an impression. Did not see the people clearly. My impression now is that we saw them more in the south than in the north. (1991-06-18)

Chris:

Next day we went to the market in Mallemort and got a roast chicken! Delicious! We drove to Aix en Provence and got books at E bookstore. We stopped in a B & R too. Went home.

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