Probably I am what is generally called francophile. While others complain that the French would always refuse to speak even one word of another foreign language, I am happy. It’s good to dig out the French from school again. I have to admit that it’s rusty, but it’s still enough for a short chat. French is a beautiful language, and honestly, I can understand the pride of the French in their culture and language. But a lot has changed in recent years. I still remember how in my first years as a flight attendant, there was hardly one person on flights to France who spoke a little English. Nowadays, almost everyone speaks a few chunks of English, and if not, no one expects you to speak french either. The French have become quite modern. And I’m always looking forward to our now rare overnight stays in France – like in Aix-en-Provence, for example.
Aix-en-Provence: Spending the afternoon in the historic centre
I’ve been to Aix-en-Provence probably around fifty or so times in my life. Quite impressive what comes together in about 18 years of working as a flight attendant. And yet, I keep getting lost in the pretty old town of Aix-en-Provence, which isn’t even big. My sense of orientation is really awful. But it doesn’t matter, there’s always something new to discover – and something old to enjoy.
Aix is one of the most expensive cities in France, but also one with the highest quality of life. The city is manageable, small, tranquil – a student city, and not at all boring, as you might think from the many historical buildings and the great history. The city reinvents itself again and again, without losing even a little of its old charm.
And in the alleys there are lots of nice little shops, cafés and restaurants. No wonder I’m always happy to spend an afternoon there. Here are some of my favourites:
Food & Drinks in Aix-en-Provence
Pâtisserie Weibel – A classic in Aix! It’s a bit expensive, but you will find awesome cakes, macarons, éclaires and just about everything you can imagine in French pastry shops. And since the last renovation, the adjoining café is also an absolute pastel-coloured sugar dream!
Burger Bar – Open around the clock, which in my case is very convenient for early flights on the next day! Otherwise, most of the restaurants in Aix open only at dinner time at 7 pm.
Shopping in Aix-en-Provence
Even though Aix is a small town, there are plenty of shopping opportunities. Even an Apple Store can be found at the end of Cours Mirabeau! Next door, in the new small shopping street, you’ll also find the larger chains such as Zara, Zara Home, Sephora and Fnac, which are not represented in the old town centre. And there is a branch of Maisons du Monde (my decoration favourite), which fortunately is finally opening in Berlin!
With luck there might be a farmers market on the Place Richelme. Or on weekends, there’s a flea market on the Cours Mirabeau with beautiful antiques – with a genuine Provence feeling to it!
Staying in Aix-en-Provence