Hello everyone. It is Sunday now and we have just awakened from our 3rd night in Arles. This is an amazing place, with lots to see, but it has been made so much better by having our own private "tour guide" Andrea Luhrs. She has driven us hither and yon and we have had such good fun and great food.
Provence, as I said, is in the very southern part of the middle of France. We are not on the ocean but it is close, so there is a very mild dry climate, much warmer than Paris, and much, much warmer than Amsterdam. So, it is back to capris and sleeveless tops and, of course, the obligatory ugly black shoes. I am not making any fashion statements here in Europe, I'll tell you. But I am relatively comfortable.
Friday we spent seeing the Arles Arena which was built in 50 AD by the Romans as a reward for the Romans that conquered and settled "Gaul" (France). That and the Classical Theater are the oldest things here, but everyplace you look you can see Roman ruins. Even in the basement of our hotel they had an excavation site and above it they had a glass panel that you could see what was down there.
We went into the Arena, which is still used today for bullfights and concerts, etc. It seats 20,000. It is kind of spooky to think how old this stuff is and we sat where Romans sat. Amazing.
We then went to the church in town called St. Trophime. It has a great Romanesque front doorway and carvings. It is a 12 century church, but parts of it date back to 300 AD. It was totally amazing inside, and very spiritual.
We drove back to Arles and agreed to meet Andi at the Arles open air market the next morning. Our plan was to buy a picnic and then take it off on an adventure on Saturday to the Pont du Gard and to the Vineyards of Chateau Neuf du Pape. More later! Ciao!
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