When I heard we were going to Aix-en-Provence, I immediately flashed back to my eighth grade French class, where our entire year’s lesson was supplemented with a video module featuring a group of college students in Aix. Ever since I realized that the city was real, I’ve wanted to visit. Today I had that chance.

In the morning after la grasse matinĂ©e (sleeping in an extra hour), around half of us headed to the Vasarely Foundation just outside of Aix. Vasarely’s work is considered “Op Art,” a combination of optical illusions and generally playing with shapes and colors. That style, which includes pieces with like circles made out of squares, really intrigues me. Thus, being surrounded by Vasarely’s floor to ceiling tapestries and tile creations was a good time. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys color and/optical illusion or is at all interested in the different ways that different artists interpret basic colors and shapes. The foundation was renovated recently and could also use the funds, which is another incentive to visit the lovely city of Aix-en-Provence.

From L-R: S.V, me and N.B at the museum

Finding the hidden “X”

A sewn signature

An optic illusion in tapestry form

The art is bursting to the seams

Tiled illusion

This piece was not named, not flat, and not hung straight- all on purpose.

A good quote on color that accompanied the collection

Following the museum, we wandered into the heart of the city for our picnic lunch. To work up a bit of an appetite, a bunch of us explored the flea market that lined the Main Street, stopping to try on sun-hats and summer tops for fun. My friend S.V and I finally sat down on the corner of a fountain, outside the church, in the middle of a produce market (after trying all the free samples, obviously). Aix was small but cute, and the weather lent it such an idyllic atmosphere, perfect for flower shaped gelato, conversations in the sun and the daily food coma.

Aix Centre-Ville

Petal shaped speculoos gelato

From Aix, we bussed and took a shiny mini train into the town of Cassis (not actually named for the fruit, sadly). While waiting for our boat, we had time to wandered around town, which I didn’t realize was so small until I had circled the same square three times while coming down three different streets. Regardless, just being in the sun and by the water was so relaxing; I still can’t believe I’m chilling in the south of france on a school trip- what is this life. Once our boat finally came, we went to explore the famous nearby calanques (aka coves), even getting to see what National Geographic has dubbed the prettiest beach in France. Looking at these naturally carved cliffs, surrounded by the stunningly clear blue water and belting out songs with some of the coolest people I’ve ever met, the time passed too quickly. A quick nap and lesson in Souther French accents (courtesy of JP) later, we were back at the hotel just in time for dinner.

Cassis- the quintessential Southern French port

The finger of God that marks the location of the supposedly prettiest beach

As a result of this trip (especially the number of naps I took today), I’m realizing that I might be in a perpetual state of slight sleepiness until summer. Nonetheless, it was nice to just hang out by the beach after dinner and before check in.

Sleepily and contentedly yours from the south of France,


2 thoughts on “X

  1. Bonjour Tara! Debbie has been forwarding your posts to me and I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed reading about your time in France. Your writing is so lively and interesting and I have learned a bit too. Thank you for sharing your experiences and observations about life in France. You have made me long to visit France again. Ann Marie

  2. Pingback: SYA goes South | Life's about the Journey

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