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Monday, September 24, 2012

Aix en Provence: What happened?

Last Thursday, Mary Alice, Nola and I drove to Aix en Provence, a major city in Provence that is renowned for its fountains, university, and it's connection to Cezzane.  We arrived shortly after 12Noon, parked the rent car and we were strolling the Cours Miranbeau, a major pedestrian mall in the middle of the "old town" of Aix.  I suddenly heard MA yell, I looked back and saw her on the sidewalk with her lower left leg at a 90 degree to her upper left leg.  I knew immediately it was BAD.  Several Aix Municipal Police Officers came to our assistance and called for an ambulance.  It took several minutes but the paramedics arrived.  They straightened out MA's leg, loaded her onto a stretcher and put her into the ambulance.  I explained to the French officers that I was a retired police officer and they told the ambulance drivers to allow me to accompany MA to the hospital.  Normally only one person is allowed to ride with the injured party to the hospital but they extended a "police" courtesy and allowed both of us to go with her to the hospital.
Photo of MA & Nola just prior to MA's fall

She was taken to the Central Hospital du Pays de Aix, a university hospital on the north side of Aix. (P.S. if you're wondering how to pronounce the town, it's pronounced like a head ache, with out the head) "aches in provence."  So she was seen immediately in the ER, taken to X-ray, and diagnosis with torn ligaments in the knee and a small fracture of the knee cap.  It required surgery, a 4-5 day hospital stay and a long term rehab period.  We were lucky that Nola was with us as it allowed me to return to Vence (2 hours east of Aix) pick up some needed essentials and return the next morning, which I did.  MA had undergone surgery and she was in room 242 in the orthopedic wing of the hospital.  Nola had stayed with her during the entire time.  MA would be in the hospital for 4-5 days.  It would be 5 days because we went back to our apartment in Vence on Monday.
Aix Market day in Panorama
I can't say enough about the French medical staff of the hospital where M.A. was treated.  All the nurses and especially Dr. Braden for his care and attention to detail.  We were treated with compassion and kindness from everyone at the hospital.  MA recovered enough to travel on Monday.  We went to X-ray, and we check out.  We were trying to figure which credit card to put the bill on because we thought it would be quite  expensive.  We paid "$0" for all the care we received.  We could not believe it.  The 2 hour drive back to Vence was uneventful, except getting MA down from the parking lot to our apartment. She scooted along down several steps to #15.  We will take it easy until the flight home on October 6th.  I hope she will be more mobile than she is now.
The five days in Aix allowed me to explore the city on Sat and Sun morning as Mary Alice slept.  Aix is typically French with a huge market on Sat and smaller one on Sunday.  The streets are narrow allowing only  one car down "One Way" streets. I will post about 10/300 photos that I took on the two days exploring Aix on the blog and the rest I will put up on Smugmug later.

Church of St Espirit and the lighted pulpit
Two of the churches I found were the Church of St. Espirit and the St. Sauveur Cathedral.  This photo is of the pulpit at St. Espirit.  I just happened to be there around 11AM when the sunlight hit the front stained glass window and the refracted light hit the pulpit.  I thought it was a "neat affect".  God really does shine his light on the "word of God" as preached from

Saint Sauveur Cathedral

Cloister at Saint-Sauveur Cathedral

Stained Glass Window at St. Espirit Church

Wrought iron belfry 

Statues at the entrance door to Saint-Sauveur Cathedral

Organ instruction at Saint Sauveur Cathedral

Nothing like a fresh baked roll for breakfast

I gave this guy a 1E coin and he danced the jig for me.

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More Aix market 

The spice table at the Aix market

I don't know if I will be sending any more blogs this trip as we are in a recovery mode.  Comments  are welcomed.



  1. Mine and Judy's prayers are with you guys and hope MA has a speedy recovery. My appetite is wetted with the picture in this blog and am anxious to see the galleries you put together when you return. Aubrey and Judy.

  2. Thanks Aubrey. I hope your hummingbird photos go well. See you in a couple of weeks.

  3. Wayne,

    So sorry about the accident but also so thankful it wasn't worse. You were blessed that MA received good care at the hospital and the surgery went well. As always, you and MA are in my prayers. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

    Love the pics in this blog - typical great WW travel pics and commentary.

    HAVE A GOD BLESSED DAY - dave b.


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