Remember that time I said people in France walk fast? Upon further review I have concluded that this is in fact not so…

Went to a new place for lunch today. It was Greek. I had a steak hache sandwich with some red peppers.

I have been working with Aquarelles (watercolors) for the past 5 classes, rather than oil paint. It makes things much easier (at least in my case).

It took a while, but the leaves finally fell off the trees. The trees on the Cours Mirabeau have been decorated with Holiday Christmas lights, so of course they are lit up at night. I’ll take some pictures eventually…The Cours Mirabeau is a big street in Aix which has all the banks on one side, and restaurants and shops on the other. It begins with the Rotonde (where the giant fountain can be found), and ends with the formidable statue of King René, the last ruler of Provence. Apparently “Good King René” did not have any heirs so the kingdom went to his nephew. A year later the nephew died so it went to King Louis XI.

Last Thursday my creative writing class was given a tour of Cathedral Saint Saveur (one of Aix’s notable historic sites). The cathedral has 3 parts, the first built near the end of the Roman empire (and using stones from the 1st century CE AD), the second during the Romanesque period (12th century), and the last in a Gothic style, built in the late 15th early 16th century.

Inside we examined the cloisters (in the first section), which were full of many symbols depicting Biblical stories and Christian history. Each column had a different image on each side, showing something I couldn’t have guessed merely by looking. Who would know for example, that the man pointing his finger in the direction of the larger part of the cathedral and rising out of the waves (they looked like clouds) was St. Matthew? And so on…There was a large old door that the priests used to use to walk into the cathedral from the outside secular world, and they’d be greeted by Matthew who would point them toward their destination. The water was supposed to symbolize rebirth, as with water used in baptism.

At the end our guide (one of the IAU professors) said that somewhere on the façade was a snail…so of course I had to find the snail. Which of course I did.


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