|Explore Western Europe France Provence Aix-en-Provence|
PLEASE, READ THESE INTRODUCTORY WORDS FIRST, BEFORE ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE PHOTOGRAPHS.
Cours Mirabeau starts at the fountain, "La Rotonde" and seemingly goes nowhere, but to itself. It is not, strictly speaking, a dead-end street, since, when one arrives at its other end, there are two or three narrow lanes which , in their own, strangely directionless way continue still further - hither and yon. Still, for a newcomer to Aix, like myself, this continuing hardly provided me with the feeling that these narrow lanes had any particular destination in mind. And so, once again, they appeared to me, to be intended to let people, almost accidentally, find Cours Mirabeau, rather than to necessarily lead to any other place. Cours Mirabeau, in other words, seems not so much a means of getting from here to there, or the starting point from which to travel to a particular destination, but rather, a destination itself. Somehow, it felt that when you had arrived at Cours Mirabeau, you had reached your goal!
I am quite aware, that what I'm saying does not make any logical sense and yet, despite that, there is a kind of emotional truth to it. While Cours Mirabeau, in the morning, may be still quite empty, as the day progresses, it seems to "collect" people. Though not being very long, or wide as far as the vehicular road is concerned, it provides more width for pedestrian traffic than it does for vehicles.
Even the layout of Cours Mirabeau, with its round-about at "La Rotonde" feels almost like an invitation to come back. How easy, and how suggestive all this seems. You don't even have to turn around! "La Rotonde" will do it for you.
And so, finding yourself back at Cours Mirabeau you may decide to stay to meet a friend at a café or to take a more leisurely and less "touristic" look around.
article published 8/22/2012