by Katie E. It is safe to say that I have finally settled in and that jet lag is officially over. Now that I am actually awake while walking through Aix I can appreciate its charm even more. Being in a city that is both relaxed yet bustling is something that can only be experienced because it just doesn’t make sense otherwise. Now that we have started classes and have a more routine schedule there are so many more opportunities to explore Aix. On Wednesday we took a trip to Gardanne, where Cézanne lived with his family, and got to walk through archways that used to be part of huge walls that guarded the town from unwelcome visitors. Gardanne was so beautiful that even the huge factory–that was very clearly visible from everywhere we walked–could not take away any of its charm. Thursday was truly a quintessential relaxed day in southern France. We started with our lessons in the morning followed by a trip to one of the many outdoor markets Aix has to offer. For lunch I, along with a few friends, found a boulangerie and had one of our first authentic French lunches. And of course throughout the week many other activities have been thrown into the mix, like making crepes back at the residence, going to a baroque concert before dinner, and a very entertaining game of les loups-garous (the French equivalent to one of my favorite childhood games, mafia). Aix is very quickly becoming my favorite city, which is really saying something because I am not a city person. At home I live about two hours from New York City and very rarely want to go, but here I am absolutely in love with walking out the front door and having something to do. Who knows, by the end of this program I may have changed my entire outlook on city life.
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