Sunday, September 25, 2011

Arles - Day 3, Market, Aqueducts, and Vineyards

Arles on Saturday is a totally different place.  The open air market is about 10 blocks long  2 blocks wide, and just packed with food stalls and pottery, clothing, junk, etc.  We arrived before Andi and took a stroll.  Here are a few (just a few) pictures that we took.  If you can imagine the smells while you are looking at them it will help you get the feeling.

We bought cheese, olives, bread,chicken, paella (spelling, but it is the stuff above that has rice, shrimp, and mussels in the 4th picture above, really good), wine, melon, and fabulous olives (Bobbi, you would be in heaven here).  Then we went in the car about 40 miles through the countryside to the Pont du Gard.

"The Pont is a surviving Roman aqueduct that delivered water to Nimes from the mountain springs.  It was a 30 mile canal that dropped 1 inch for every 350 feet and supplied nine million gallons of water per day.  Most of the Aqueduct is on or below the ground the Pont du Gard spans a canyon on a massive bridge.  It is one of the most remarkable surviving  Roman Ruin anywhere."  - Rick Steeves

What a picnic spot!  Jerry and Andi walked across, I took pictures from below.  It was great.

We set the GPS for Chateau Neuf du Pape which is literally the Chateau (home) of the nine popes.  In the 13th century the Vatican was move to France to this area because it was more defensible, and the Pope at the time was French.  9 popes later the vatican was moved back to Rome.  It now is WINE country on steroids.  Like Iowa has corn, this place raises grapes.  And produces some of the best wine in the Rhone Valley.  In the states, as here, the wine is expensive, but very full bodied and smooth.

After tramping around some vineyards (tours were impossible because it is harvest season), we went into town and tasted some of the different wineries samples.  All were fabulous (of course, I rarely meet a red wine I don't like) but we chose one that was remotely reasonable and bought a bottle after "sampling" several.

We drove back to Arles and ate at a traditional Provence restaurant, which was very good.  Andi had Scallops, I had the lamb, and Jerry had Sea Bass.  Yum.  Back to the hotel to sleep.

Today we have checked out, are going to Avignon to see some sights and eat lunch, then back on the train to Paris.  We will arrive after 6:30 and back to the apartment to do some laundry.  Life is good.  Home on Wednesday.  Can't believe it is almost over.  We are so glad we came to Provence and it definitely is on the list for a revisit.  Jerry thinks he could rent a car and drive here, which would give us the freedom to do "our thing" by just wandering.  We'll see if the money holds out for another trip like this in the future.

More later.  Miss you all.  Ciao!

1 comment:

  1. I went to the co-op and bought olives, poured a glass of wine, closed my eyes, and lived vicariously for a few minutes...Sorry your trip is coming to a close, but so glad that you are coming home to share your experiences! PS Andi looks like DEB!!!