Friday, October 23, 2015

The Museum of Arles

The entire city of Arles is a museum unto itself. Yes, there is commerce and village life, but citizens and visitors alike live carefully among the ruins. The ruins, that is, of what was once a great Roman city. A magnificent colosseum, for example, dominates a rise in the centre of the old town, while an amphitheatre, solid enough to hold performances today, forms the entrance to a garden and city park, a few blocks away. In fact, almost everywhere there are testaments in stone, to the greatness that was once, Rome.

The colosseum in Arles
Here Van Gogh painted, as well, so there is still a strong feeling of Provence in the winding streets and charming houses that lead down to the famous Rhone. The nights are quiet in Arles, but  restaurants, in the early evening, are bustling. There is an excellent selection of eateries including many moroccan bistros.

Lunch was often an outdoor cafe. I can't sit outside in a cafe without thinking of artists, writers and the like. Perhaps this is where they garner the ideas for their next work. There is this mixture of  decadence and inspiration that comes from watching other people getting on with their lives, while one just watches and makes notes - or not as the case maybe.

Van Gogh's home in Arles
With only three days left to the end of our vacation, we spent all of our time wandering around the town, getting lost - a favourite activity, and when it was too hot, spending time in the small but perfectly appointed swimming pool, in the walled garden of our hotel, Hotel D'arlatan.

Melon with Port, as a starter
Unfortunately, the Van Gogh gallery would open, after renovations, on Thursday - we were leaving Tuesday. This means, of course, that we have to come back!!

Tomorrow, The Camargue! Have a great day.

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