We met the rest of our Tauck Culturious tour members yesterday afternoon for a brief walking tour of Aix en Provence, which ended in the rain. Then we had our welcome dinner at the hotel last night. It looks like some fun tour members to get to know this trip.
This morning, May 30, 2016, dawned clear and bright after the rains. We started today off with a tour of Cezanne’s last studio just outside the town of Aix, and close to the hill where Cezanne used to climb to paint some of his views of Mt. Ste. Victoire outdoors. The studio was lovingly maintained exactly as it had been when Cezanne was alive, and featured great memorabilia, such as his hat and overcoat (used for painting outdoors), his easels and paint boxes, and several vases and other items he used in many of the still-lifes he painted.
Then it was off to to a local vineyard called Chateau la Coste, which not only produces wine, but has a great collection of outdoor sculpture installations. Our visit started with a hike through the vineyards to view these art pieces, and then we had a superb lunch in the restaurant at the vineyard.
Of course, no visit to a vineyard would be complete without a visit to the winery operations, which in the case here, take place in these amazingly futuristic looking steel hangars.
With the remainder of our afternoon and evening on our own, we joined Liz and Scott in the gardens at le Piggonet, and then walked into town to dine at Chez Mitch, which was a great bistro featuring mostly seafood-oriented dishes in some creative and delicious preparations. Tomorrow, we leave Aix, and venture into the Luberon area in Provence, higher up and more inland than our current location. I am very interested to see this area, as it was there that Peter Mayle lived, and described so fondly in his book, A Year in Provence.