Anyone else going to Aix-en-Provence in Feb 2018?

This will be my first RS program and I chose this one in Provence.  Anxious to freshen up on my French language skills (or lack thereof) and learn a little French cooking as well.  It would be nice to get to know some of the other participants on this trip and where they are from.

I'm a single lady living outside of Phoenix AZ.  I love to travel and hope to take advantage of the weekends to see some of the places in France that I haven't been to yet.

Hope to hear from my other classmates.


  • Hi Lanie,

    I did this program last year and have signed up again for February 2018. It was wonderful! Last year the group connected with a local guide who arranged various day trips out of Aix during free time. I don't know whether they would do that again. I'm interested in going to Avignon for a weekend, if you would like to do that. I'm a retired lawyer, divorced with grown daughters, living in Madison Wisconsin. It will be warm in Aix in February!.

  • Hi Janet,
    Avignon is a great weekend spot. Let's definitely look at it when we get there. I'm glad to hear how much you liked the program last year! I'm very excited for this trip. Looking forward to making a few friends that like to travel as much as I do!
  • Hi all,

    A couple of thoughts after following this discussion board:

    1. Weather in Provence: Yes it will be warmer than MN but be prepared for the Mistral ... combined with higher humidity (than Montana) it can turn dramatically colder in a matter of minutes. If you happen to be in Arles or Avignon along the Rhone, then you might have trouble standing and/or walking.
    2. Both Arles and Avignon are worthwhile weekend destinations, I would choose Arles over Avignon, especially the Antiquities museum on the outskirts of Arles.
    3. Gordes was well worth a long look in 1969 but it's gone rather touristy now (gentrification). Still a great place if you also dock your 100+ ft. yacht in Monaco. If you do go in that direction then Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque is worth a stop.
    4. I'm planning a weekend in Marseille. The transformation taking place there since the drug wars of the 1960's-1980 is truly amazing. If you do go there, stay alert. I had my wallet (in a secure "hidden" zipped pocket) lifted at Notre Dame. Amazingly, all the wallet's contents (minus the Euros) were returned to me by the church admin about 3 weeks later after I had returned to the US. I'm planning to do some hiking/walking in the Calanques while in Marseille. To me, Marseille is a must see!
    5. I've also scoped out local trips to Roman sites in Velaux, Meyrargues, and a climb of Mont Sainte Victoire from the north side. All these are accessible by local bus routes.

    I have to be careful about inviting company on these excursions due to my physical limitations. I'm a pretty slow walker but am very persistent. My slow walking is due to about an 80% loss of feeling in both legs below my knees plus a triple bypass. You'll identify me by my trekking poles. My persistence comes from being a mountain climber, ski mountaineer, backpacker, etc. in my former life. Such is life ...

    That's my thought for now ... looking forward to this adventure in a few weeks!
    Cheers, Doug
  • Bonsoir to you all,
    My name is Diane and am very much looking forward to joining you on this journey in Provence. I am enrolled in the French language and culinary courses -- for the complete cultural immersion! I would like to see some places I have not been before (Lyon, the Languedoc region), as well as those I previously visited (Arles, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Avignon).

    I arrive the morning of February 16, from Washington, DC via Paris at 11:15 am (Air France). I plan to take a taxi to Aix. Is anyone interested in sharing the ride?

    Doug, I see that you will be arriving at around the same time, so if you would like, we can arrange to meet at the MRS airport. As you said, more efficient than taking the train.

    Janet, very intriguing that you have enrolled in the program 2 years in succession. I look forward to hearing about your previous experience.

    My email is – for several weeks I was unable to get to our trip discussion board – I was getting error messages - from the RS web site. RS has fixed it, but just in case, feel free to email me directly.

    Look forward to meeting you all in person. À bientôt.
  • My husband, John, and I participated in this program in fall of 2016, and we’re looking forward to another wonderful experience. We also arrive on Feb 14 flying from our home in Claremont CA. We are in the language program, but some of the cultural outings sure look enticing.
  • My husband, John, and I participated in this program in fall of 2016, and we’re looking forward to another wonderful experience. We also arrive on Feb 14 flying from our home in Claremont CA. We are in the language program, but some of the cultural outings sure look enticing.
  • Hi Diane and Linda, It's nice to have more people in the conversation. Sounds like we now have several repeat participants in the program. Nice to see. Looking forward to meeting everyone.
  • Hi All

    A few more thoughts

    Diane: My flight from Amsterdam (Air France/Delta) arrives at 11:40AM. I would be interested in sharing a taxi/Uber with you but do not want you to have to wait to long. I've never used Uber but have the App on my phone. My research says Uber will cost €46-61, 17 miles, 31minutes. I'm estimating that I'll be out of passport control/customs/etc. at 12:30. By then I'll have a backpack and 1 black suitcase with an orange strap.

    Important: My research is not infallible, just the best info I could gather using a lot of sources.

    One reason I wrote the following is that Google Maps/Earth will direct you to take a bus into Marseille then take a TER to Aix. This is an awful choice since you are already about halfway to Aix when you are at the airport.

    All: The cheapest/best way to get to the hotel from the airport is to exit Terminal 1 at the middle left (facing the exit, not the planes), You will see a bus ticket office in a separate building, look for Aix shuttle, buy ticket, cost for a 1-way trip is €8,60 (seniors might get by for €1,50?), busses run every 30 min., you might be able to buy the ticket on the bus, you load your luggage under the bus (don't have to lug it up stairs/ narrow aisles, etc). the bus runs to the Aix bus station (near the Aix train station) with a few stops along the way (one stop is at the Aix TGV station - don't get off here). From the bus station you have a number of choices, 1. taxi/Uber 2. Bus #11 (about 11min) to stop De La Molle, €1, exact change, then a 5 min (2 blocks) fairly level walk to hotel 3. Walk to hotel (might be very grim with luggage, poor weather, and uphill stretch at end) - without luggage the walk should take about 15 min.

    Shuttle web sit:
    Look for the pdf download on the above web page.

    Cheers, Doug
  • Hi Doug, I sent a reply to your posting above, but it appears not to be displayed. So, let me see if I can recount what I had written in my earlier response.

    I will be arriving on February 16 at 11:15 AM, AF#7662 which proceeds your flight arrival by about half an hour. My flight arrives at Terminal 1B. Is that where you are arriving as well? We can plan to meet at a specific place in the terminal.

    I do not mind waiting for your flight to arrive if it is not significantly delayed. We can share contact info to keep in touch.

    I believe many airports do not permit Ubers to pick up passengers at airport terminals due to traffic logistical issues. A taxi from MRS to Aix is around €50, which we can split, and should take about ½ hour.

    Let me know if you want to proceed with a plan to share a taxi, and we can give further details.

    Best regards, Diane
  • Hi Diane

    My flight (DL8364/AF1807) on 16Feb18 is scheduled into MRS terminal 1B at 11h40 from Amsterdam.

    My phone is 001-406-304-9278 (I'm on Google's Project Fi, it has been working all over Europe)

    Where to meet?
    The Marseille Provence airport is in the middle of a huge project which started about 1 1/2 years ago. One of the first areas to be "changed" is Terminal 1; thus all the maps available on the web may/may not be valid. The map I've got and Google Street view show the Taxi pick-up right between terminal 1B and 1A. Both may be out of date?? In any case, I'll head toward that spot. As I mentioned earlier, look for a black "spinner" suitcase with a wide orange strap "led" by tired looking "old" dude wearing a black backpack.

    Taxi is ok but I think your €50 taxi estimate is from 2012, I would not be surprised to see €65-80 now (correct me if I'm mistaken). I can easily afford it but my Scottish ancestors will be very unhappy. Just for the novelty and to keep challenging myself I'm still interested in Uber.

    Please go on ahead if there is any delay. We might get "lucky" and land in the middle of a nation-wide strike! It's only a 17 mile walk to Aix :-)

    Enough humor! Time is drawing short & my French keeps going in one ear and out the same one!
    Cheers, Doug
  • Bonjour Doug,

    Want to supply you with my cell number - 703.627.3604. You can text me if you are running late, and I will do the same. I found a map of Terminal 1 at MRS, and you are correct, the taxi stand is between Halls A and B - . I also checked taxi fares and still am finding an estimate of around €50. I will have a RS tag on my suitcase - and green ribbon. See you next week! Bon voyage, Diane   

  • Bonjour Diane,

    Merci beaucoup! Je serai celui qui parle avec Macron ... entouré par la Garde républicaine! ;-)

    Bon voyage,
    François-Marie Arouet (aka Doug)
  • Bonjour à tous!

    especially to Monsieur V. aka Doug.

    The taxi I got from the airport to Aix costs 60Euro on the way to Aix and then 80E going back the other way. The walk from the bus without luggage is pretty easy -- maybe 8 blocks, the last one uphill. I'm going to take a cab after the long flight. (I'm coming in on February 14.)

    Last year the group exchanged emails and room numbers with each other. RS won't do this for us. I can bring a spreadsheet we can pass around at our first meeting Friday evening. The desk will make copies for people.

    Anyway, here is my email:

    Some random thoughts about practical things. There is a grocery two blocks from the hotel, and a Monoprix with food about 6 blocks away. Two bakeries -- one plain, one fancy -- a tabac, and a traiteur (selling prepared food to take away) within a block. Also a yarn store, an office supply store, and a funky hardware store. And an oral surgeon. OK, enough. If you have any practical questions that I might be able to help with, please ask.