This is the central roundabout in Aix at the Fontaine de la Rotonde. One of the main streets that ends at the fountain is the Cours Mirabeau, a beautiful street that was originally all huge private homes in the 19th Century. Pretty impressive. This statue of Cezanne watches over the roundabout. It is possible to follow the Circuit de Cezanne to see where he ate, drank, studied and painted. We haven't done that yet.
Monday morning we went into Venelles, a small village a short drive north-west of our gite. This picture is taken on the drive there. Lovely.
Today, Tuesday we took a drive south to the Mediterranean. We have the GPS set to avoid highways so we did a clockwise circle from Aubagne to Le Beausset along some very beautiful roads. We stopped for a (fairly nondescript) lunch in Le Ciotat, the city in the fourth picture above. As you can see, we dropped out of the mountains in order to dine seaside! We then took a seaside route called Route des Cretes from Le Ciotat to Cassis. (It's one of the suggested drives in the book Backroads of France...thanks again, Chris!). OK, I knew it would be impressive and it was. But I can now tell you for sure than when you are a passenger it in fact does NOT help to try to apply the brakes on the passenger side of the car. I know, because I tried!!! A lot. And it seemed as if all the drop-offs were on my side! The third picture from the bottom was taken from the car window as we were driving. It's sort of like a huge narrow ridge that someone has taken a butter knife to, all along the top. The second last picture is also taken from the car, looking down at some of the amazing rock formations with the sea beyond it. Very down. Very My Side! And then finally we descended into Cassis. All of the villages and towns were crazy busy today because it was a national holiday. That meant that we couldn't find any parking to get out and wander around the towns, and in fact there were several outdoor functions going on and some roads were detoured. But it was a great day, nonetheless. Now, on to the resting. Sore legs from all that braking!!