Sunday, March 24, 2013

Arles, a Break within a Break

Where was I?

Did I mention that this March is the coldest in half a century in the UK? And that there has been a lot of snow and floods. People have died, public transportation has been cancelled, and general miserableness has blighted the land. So, we went to the South of France to see some sunshine. The day we arrived was very cold, with pouring rain and driving winds and we wondered whether we had made a mistake. But the next day dawned fair and the day after that was perfection. We had a great time. There was sunshine. And flowers. And blossom in the fruit trees.

 Arles is a 40 minute train ride from Marseilles airport. It's chiefly known today for its connection to Van Gogh. Even though he didn't spend that long in Arles, it is where he cut off his ear, poor guy, and painted some of his most famous paintings. We didn't 'do' the Van Gogh stuff. There were also groups of pilgrims there, as it's one of the starting places for the Chemin de St Jacques de Compostelle. We didn't 'do' the pilgrimage stuff. We were there for sunshine (the COG) and the Roman remains (me).

Arelate, as the Romans called it, was a fairly important city for them. There was a big port on the Rhone River, which runs through the town. And, more importantly, there is a large Amphitheatre, built right after the Colliseum in Rome, a lovely theatre, the remains of a necropolis, a lower level of the Roman forum, and part of a huge Roman bath complex. There are also some museums (which, alas, were mostly closed while we were there. And there was sunshine. Did I mention that? And flowers. And Blossom. And it was in the 60's mostly. We stayed in a lovely little hotel in a very old mansion equidistant from the Roman theatre and the Amphitheatre. It was a really splendid hotel, very quiet yet
very centrally located. The first picture is the entry door.

   The second picture is the entry hall.
  The third is the stair to our room.

 Finally , our room, , which must have had 18 or 20 foot ceilings with old wooden beams. It also had a lovely large modern bathroom. We had asked for a 'Superieur Deluxe' room because we were going to be there so long (and because it was off season rates, so why not).  We were not disappointed.  What you can't see is the way the light came in the very large windows.  It was beautiful light.


1 comment:

Kate said...

Oh, golly! What a marvelous hotel! I love the old French ceiling in your room.