Wednesday, July 23, 2008


We left London early in the morning with minimal sleep to catch the Eurostar and then transfer to the TGV to get down to Provence. Although the trains are nice, our experience totally sucked! We got to the Paris Nord station late after an electrical problem and then learned that we had to take a subway to the Paris Lyon station to get our next train. We missed it. We were able to get on the next one, but with no seats. So we sat on the luggage racks for the 2 hour trip. Also its not really the best way to see the scenery because the train is going super fast. We finally made it to Avignon and then had to get our rental car and drive to Arles.

All of the stress of the day melted away when we got out on the country roads, aside from the problem that Ben hasn't driving a stick shift in years and we don't speak enough French to understand road signs. The fields of sunflowers and vineyards are spectacular. Every view looks like a post card. After getting Ben to relax about the possibility of getting lost not being the worst thing in the world, we thoroughly enjoyed cruising the countryside.

After driving in circles around Arles for at least 1/2 hour we finally found our hotel, settled into our hotel. We were tired, but hungry and excited to check out the town. We wandered around and admired the cute little shops with Provencal housewares, the abundance of street cafes, and the way the people manage to fit cars into places that they probably shouldn't be.

Our Nissan Note parked on the sidewalk

The brasserie across from the amphitheater where we had our first meal in France
The view from our seats

We shared a pizza and this lovely salad, and of course some Orangina

The town center designed for people to sit around and hang out, definitely missing from US cities. In the square is the Church of St. Trophime

The beginning of the many pictures I took of flowers growing on buildings


We stumbled on this event going on in the amphitheatre and it was free (or seemed to be)

I love that people sit at cafes for hours. Its so relaxing to sip on a Cappuccino and watch people walk by. Ben didn't love this so much and got antsy after about 1/2 hour.

The cloister of ste trophime

The first of many pastries that we ate for breakfast. I don't really understand how anyone could eat something this sweet for breakfast everyday and feel okay, but I wanted to embrace the culture so I went with it. It didn't seem as weird after I took a bite and it was the best pastry I'd ever had .

Since we were staying in Arles for two nights we had enough time to take a day trip to the Carmague ornithological park to see the flamigos. Ben loved this place.

I had to get out along the road and take pictures of these sunflower farms

After Arles we went to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Baux-de-Provence, Cavaillon, Gordes and then to Grenoble to sleep. More about that later

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm really impressed. Thoroughly enjoy reading your posts. Keep writing!!! Love, Mom - Fran