Sunday, May 7, 2017

Arles

Saturday (yesterday), we had breakfast at the hotel again then stepped outside into the beautiful morning to go for a walk. The Gothic Quarter was right on our doorstep so we traveled back in history while we traversed the maze of alleys and narrow streets. Shops were starting to open up - lots of shoe stores with espadrilles (will I regret not buying some authentic Spanish shoes?)
By noon we were checked out and in the cab on our way to the port. Embarkation went well and we were on the ship in no time. Our room was ready for us so we settled in before we headed to Crooners for a celebratory Pina Colada. The rest of the day passed quickly with a few trips to the buffet (oh my gosh!), and a time at the railing as we cast off and sailed out of Barcelona. It was chilly up there with a brisk wind - should have worn a sweater.

Don and Carm looking at a map trying to figure out where we are.

We were up at the crack of dawn today ready for our day in Arles, Provence, France.  There was barely a cloud in the sky but it was cool enough for a windbreaker for the earlier part of the day. Glorious.

The bus ride was over an hour which gave us a chance to get a taste of the landscape - poppies grew alongside the road, cypress trees dotted the landscape. I was quickly falling in love with Provence.

I didn’t get any good photos but we disembarked our bus next to where Van Gogh painted ‘Starry Night’. There were many spots pointed out during the walking tour where he had painted. As an exciting bonus the small art gallery had an exhibition of 8 paintings.

The Roman amphitheatre in the heart of the village. Still in use today.

I love the pale yellow and blue facades - I just might want to stucco our house and plant a few cypress trees.

THE cafe in the painting.

A beautiful courtyard also painted by Van Gogh.

We had lunch in Arles at a hotel. It had a great salad, chicken & pasta, and a crumble dessert.

From there we boarded the bus for a short drive to Les Baux de Provence - an ancient village at the top of a hill. I forgot to take photos and just have this one. It was charming with restaurants and gift shops. I had to take a firm hold of my ‘souvenir’ gene to avoid coming home with some lovely dish towels, table cloths and bags.

Have I mentioned today how much I love my camera strap? It is a Pacsafe sling style which has a cross body strap with the camera mounted on a sliding thing so that when you want to take a photo the camera slides into place without having to reposition the strap. It is WONDERFUL.

We had an incredible day!