Monday, October 21, 2013

A Day Trip to Arles

This morning we took the train to Arles, a 15-minute ride away.  As usual, the first thing we had to do was find a spot for lunch.  We found a small restaurant across the street from the Roman arena.  I ordered the prawns Provençale and when my food arrived I was a bit taken aback by the huge prawns with their heads still on.  I tried to avoid their eyes while eating them.  Bill got duck breast which was much less daunting to eat.

Here's a photo of the Roman arena.  There's also a Roman theater built in the first century B.C. as well as other buildings erected by the Romans.

We toured the cloister of St. Trophime with its Romanesque and Gothic galleries from the 12th and 14th centuries.

The other thing Arles is famous for is that Van Gogh lived and worked there for a short time.  The Espace Van Gogh is the former hospital where Van Gogh stayed after that unfortunate ear incident.  I had seen beautiful photographs of its gardens in our guide book, but today they had torn out almost all of the plants for the season.  There were inexpensive souvenir shops galore. Nevertheless, it's not difficult to find beauty in this old town.

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