Monday, May 09, 2011

Taking the Waters of Aix en Provence, Troisième partie

...Along the Cours Mirabeau, I watched fountain pools sparkle as they caught the light, dotting the well-known passage under a canopy of towering plane trees.  

The Fountain of the Nine Cannons replaced a watering basin where herds would stop for refreshments as they migrated to and from higher grazing grounds.  The original sculptures are hidden under soft mounds of verdant vegetation which thrives in the dappled light along this stretch of human watering holes:  the cafés that provide a perfect view for fountain- and people-watching. 

Nine Cannons Fountain - Bodhi's personal favorite as far as watering holes go on Cours Mirabeau.
A little further, the Mousse Fountain, draped in green velvet moss and steaming with the thermal waters that made Aix a spa town, invited me to sit on its edge and spend a few moments in the radiance of its warmth. 

Mousse Fountain flowing with thermal waters
The good King René, a favorite in these parts for what he brought to Aix (including the Muscat grape – a cluster of which he holds as a reminder), is found at the top of Cours Mirabeau, surveying his lovely town from the fountain built to commemorate him in 1819.

The Roi Réné fountain at the top of Cours Mirabeau, Aix en Provence



Following his gaze from this fountain and looking straight down the Cours, I could see the magnificent Rotonde Fountain that had welcomed me as I circled it upon my arrival. 

Looking down Cours Mirabeau toward the fountain at La Rotonde
Constructed in 1860, its three statues represent the three main activities of Aix en Provence:  Justice, Agriculture and Fine Arts.

This very entry point marked the beginning of my leap and anchored me as I navigated the challenges of this new life.  And believe me, challenges were aplenty – even though I was buoyed by the local waters...

To be continued...
Ciao,
Leslie

2 comments:

Mary said...

Better than a tourist guide! We learn much more things thanks to your guided tour of aix! So, good king Rene introduced the Muscat grape and we see it on his statue! Very beautiful pictures! I like the picture of the good King Rene ?! The favorite fountain of Bhodi is mine too !
The part 4 is expected !

Kris said...

Leslie,

What beautiful photos! Aix en Provence looks like such a lovely place...peaceful, and pleasing to the eye. I think I could fall in love with it. Sigh...

Kris

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