Blogs from Arles, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France, Europe


The Apartment Airbnb has been getting a lot of negative press lately about its shift to corporate listings and away from its owner-operated roots. Well, this apartment was probably the best place we have stayed in all our European trips. Roomy, well equipped, bright, quiet. Tastefully decorated and run by the nicest couple who met us on arrival and explained everything about the apartment and discussed opportunities in Arles. Made us feel like we should have stayed longer. There are many sites to visit in the area if you have a car (and time), The Pont du Gard and Avignon are two places within easy reach from Arles (we had been to both from Montpellier) but there are lots of smaller attractions we couldn’t get to because of not having time or a car. The closest ... read more
The Rhône
Les Alyscamps

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Arles September 11th 2018

Day 10 Arles……………Really the only thing I knew about Arles was that Vincent Van Gogh painted there for about a year. He was very productive during his short time here. While I’m not an expert on post impressionism art for which Van Gogh is noted, I do like most of the artists of the Impressionism era. I always thought Van Gogh's paint strokes looked angry and could practically picture him slamming each stroke onto the canvas. Maybe painting was something he felt he had to do and not something he loved to do. Now take Renoir, his easy brush strokes immediately makes me happy, I can imagine being at the gathering in Montmartre dancing the night away in Paris’s fabulous La Belle Epoch period, I start swaying just looking at a Renoir. I feel the same ... read more
Arles le Cafe le Noir
Arles outside the Colosseum
Arles Colosseum

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Arles May 26th 2018

I was sweating and feeling nervous as I cautiously climbed and descended yet more stone steps, going from pitch black to blinding sunlight as I emerged into the 2000 year old arena in Arles. But I was grateful that I was just looking and I wasn’t being pursued by a lion or any wild animal, or about to pit myself against a roaring bull! I could almost feel the remnant of fear in the underground passages and holding areas. Roman arenas are stunning structures, and the one in Arles is the 20th in size in the world and bigger than the famous one in Nîmes. As always, I am fascinated by the thought of how many bums have sat on the well worn seats and climbed the tiers over the centuries. It is still used for ... read more
Looking up the Main Street of Arles old town
His painting of people at the Roman Arena
At the arena - the view from the inside passages to the arena centre

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Arles October 22nd 2017

A wander firstly zig zagging the area around the northern gate. Easy day and one more monument on our ticket left. So we decided on the Le Theatre Antique Roman ruins. Built end of the first century BC to hold 10,000 people. In my opinion probably not much left to show for it. It was looted for it's stone for building houses etc. Once again the photos will tell. A visit again to the hospital courtyard of van Gogh in a better light. Felix Ray his doctor also had a portrait done & gifted to him by van Gogh while he was hospitalised here. Home to pack up for Nice. Think I'm all 'ruin'..ed out!... read more
Espace - courtyard
Espace - courtyard
van Gogh's Espace painting

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Arles October 21st 2017

The morning was spent wandering & tasting at the Saturday markets. On an ernormous scale they ran for 1 & 1/2 kilometres and most were two seperate rows with stalls each side. You name it was on offer and done tastfully in french fashion. Pictures tell. The Reattu museum: We saw part of Reattu's work at an exhibition yesterday and then today his collection at his museum. We didn't know anything about this artist. Very remarkable drawings done primarily for his paintings. Preferred his drawings to his paintings. Though he did manage to capture his main subject in a good light to give focus on it. I noticed he drew his male & female different in that the male was muscular & the female without. Not many artists of this era differentiated this except in the ... read more

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Arles October 20th 2017

There we go! Little Arles has got 7 UNESCO Heritage sites...what a gem! Along the Boulevard to the 'Alyscamps' cemetary: Roman cities traditionally forbade burials within the city limits. It was therefore common for the roads immediately outside a city to be lined with tombs and mausoleums. 'Les Alyscamps' was a Roman Necropolis in the 4th century AD. Saint Tropimus was buried here and it was popular for people from far and wide in Europe to be sent here for burial using the Rhone for transport. It was one of the most famous necropolis in the ancient world. UNESCO Heritage listed. The better of the roman sarcophagi are in the Arles Departmental Musee Antiques which house one of the best collections of sarcophagi in Europe. Vincent van Gogh painted 'Falling Autumn Leaves' from the bank. Next ... read more
One of the original roads
van Gogh - Falling Autumn Leaves
Perspective from van Gogh

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Arles October 19th 2017

Our museum & monument day. Initially it said it was going to rain for a couple of days. However it was a nice day reaching 22degrees. An historic town with many UNESCO Heritage sites. First out to the 'Musee Departemental Arles Antique': The girl at the info centre said you need about 3 hours. You do if you want to read eveything as well (in french - or you can use the audio guides). Sabine (our host) spoke of the museum with great pride & so she should. It is very well done & mostly of artefacts from the Arles region. Many items discovered on the Rhone. Especially important is the barge of Julius Caesar time 1st Century AD. Many ceramics, glass, jewellery, tools, plumbing, sculptures & sarcophagus. Arlrs was a Greek trading post then became ... read more
Arles Arena - from entrance floor
Bust of Aphrodite 1st century

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Arles October 18th 2017

We tootled off down the Boulevard to the info centre & collected a 'pass' that will get us into 3 monuments & 2 museums €24. Made our way through the Mercredi (Wednesday) Markets. Everything from clothing, linen, kitchen items, fresh vegetables, meat, pizzas, bread......set up under the tree lined street with Autumn leaves dropping everywhere. We stocked ourselves up with some nice tomatoes, grapes, dried ginger, cranberries... We could be anywhere in the world here.. Wandered back through the centre of town. Through the old hospital courtyard. I still get lost... I remember the Venetians in Venice did that on purpose to confuse the enemy. Think the Chinese do this too with their small corridors... but I am here on friendly terms! I just have to remember to say 'merci' not 'grazie'. Which brings me to ... read more
Mercredi Markets
Renowed for garlic
van Gogh hospital garden

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Arles October 17th 2017

Super place in a quiet vuex ville of France. A small town enclosed by buildings of the Middle Ages, therefore the streets are very narrow and the houses tall. A bit of a network to find our way around, however the street blocks are very small so it is not far to walk from one side of town to the other. Most of the homes will have also used stone from the arenas as they were dismantled and collapsed. They are quaint and those that own them are quite proud to. Not ideal for a family although if you know no different it is how some choose to live. They have a Collectable value. It's a little cooler here than Malta, 22degree days starting with some mist. We spent most of the day wandering Arles as ... read more
South Port entrance to Arles
Walk up to enter south port
Inside south port

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Arles October 16th 2017

Early wake up....awake well before the 3.20am alarm... Transfer pickup from the hotel at 4am at the airport before 4.30am. Yay! Booked in online so just an easy custom process through to Departures. Our flight scheduled for 6.30am to Marsielle. Buses out to the Ryanair plane on the tarmac and into our previously alloted seats. Left in the dark and arrived 1.40hr later just after sunrise. Quick customs check through and still only carrying 'carry on' luggage which makes for an easy arrival through customs. Outside to catch the free bus to Vittrolles Airport Gare to purchase tickets and train ride to Arles (1/2hr trip). Everything went really smoothly and arrived at Arles Gare to pick up the free circut bus to La Roquette and from there a 5-10min walk to Rue du Baret. Our abode ... read more
Vitrolle Airport Gare - train station
On the train leaving Marsielle
Marsielle to Arles

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