Things to do at Aix-les-Bains

Hey, here I am at Aix-les-Bains, where Romans lived, Romans fought, Romans bathed and Romans worshipped more than 2000 years ago. So it should not be surprising that the moment I reach here, I go hunting for any remaining vestige of Roman inhabitation. Well, I am not disappointed, because even though the temple of Diana is in ruins, it gives me quite a good idea of magnificent Roman architecture. And then the triumphal arc built by Campanus is enough to impress me, even though it is only 9 m high.

Moving around the town Hall, I had to frown a little, because the marquis of Aix built this chateau in the 16th century to house his ever-growing family, but he collected the stone from old Roman buildings. But well, the staircase is well worth the visit, showing you a fine example of Renaissance creativity. Talk about elegance. No wonder so many natives of Aix-Le-Bains keep visiting the town Hall for a “admire our heritage,” stop.

So all right, Le bains do mean the baths and any place, which has been occupied by the Romans would have Roman baths, where Roman patricians could spend their afternoons and talk about the proper conventional ways and means to assassinate their generals and their emperors. And after that, they could stand on the steps of the forum and placate the plebeians with a provocative speech starting something like “friends, Romans, countrymen…” So you should not be surprised that there are two spas here, built on ancient Roman baths. So enjoy half- boiling yourself as red as a lobster in these spas.

Strolling with your girlie when the dawn is pretty early through the promenades by the side of the lake or near the water sources, well, what better way to start the day. And if you are not lake sick, you can take a steamboat trip on the Lac du Bourget. It is going to take you four hours. So if you have an afternoon free, go riding along the Canal de Savière.

The Abbaye d’Hautecombe is definitely one of the places to visit, because it is the last resting places of a large number of dukes and princes of the Savoy region. More than 40 Savoie dukes have been buried in this magnificent masoleum. And if you are looking for something more modern in the form of art, do not forget to visit the Faure museum to feast your eyes on master pieces done by masters like Cézanne and Degas.

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