We stayed in Aix-en-Provence, a university town and the most important educational centre in the region. It is a major city-commune along with Nice, Avignon, Toulon and Marseilles, of the region today known as Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur.

I could never tire of these narrow cobblestone, some bitumen, streets. Whether we are looking at an interesting building, visiting a museum or simply having a coffee, that atmosphere from centuries before has stopped still and waits for us still.

It’s still the same trick with breakfast. Either buy your croissant from the boulangerie and take it to the cafe or if the cafe owner will go the boulangerie and buy it for you with only a slight tax.

Mostly just walking around enjoying the streets lined with plane trees, loitering in the simple, but delightful plazas, sitting in the cool of the fountains which this city is known for or dwelling on the fact that the Gothic part of the church we saw…was the very new part. We ended the steamy day by spending some hours in the book-in-bar shop where you can buy coffee AND croissants as you read your French novel, discuss children’s education or just have a chat with friends – all done very quietly.

We should have lots to talk about tomorrow as we climb a little mountain nearby and walk with the ghosts of Cervantes and Picasso.

Until then…….