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HC Abroad: A Tourist in My Own Town

Posted Nov 26 2012 - 11:13pm

Today I thought I’d share with you a few of the “tourist attractions” in my own study abroad town, Aix-en-Provence. It’s a gorgeous Provencal city very close to the seaside and about 30 minutes from Marseille, one of the major hubs of France.

It’s very famous for it’s many fountains. Aix used to be a Roman spa town and has many hot springs - even in the winter water still flows. The most beautiful and impressive fountain is the Rotunda fountain at the city center. It was built in 1860 and is the first fountain to be built with a basin. The three statues of Justice, Agriculture, and Fine Arts are to represent the main aspects of Aix.

(The Cours Mirabeau- at the end of the street you can see the Rotunda fountain!)

The Cours Mirabeau is now something of a shopping center and has a variety of restaurants and cafés too. It’s the perfect place for a Saturday morning stroll, especially because of the markets held on this street- you can see everything from fresh fruits and veggies to artisans’ work to clothing and accessories to Christmastime traditional goods. The atmosphere at Christmastime is magical- the city decorates with a plethora of lights and it feels like something out of a Disney movie.

The famous artist Paul Cezanne was a born Aixois and painted much of the surrounding area, including Mont St-Victoire. He’s the pride of the city and you can take many tours to get a feel for his life and work.

The Park Jourdan is one of my favourite places to be on a sunny afternoon. It’s perfect for a reading break between classes- it’s very close to the university- or a lazy Sunday morning. It’s also ideal for those who want to perfect the art of the French picnic. Cheese + baguette + wine + park = better than any restaurant. It’s also the perfect place to catch the sunset...

In my opinion, the best part about studying abroad is learning all the little quirks and secrets of a city. What are your favourite spots in your hometown?

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