Day 3: Provence

My Wednesday started out not so great. I was awoken by my alarm clock at 5AM after only one hour of sleep. I got ready and tried to force myself to eat, but I felt so sick I could barely force down some cereal. I was running a little behind my intended schedule so I left for the train station on an empty, unhappy stomach.

Paris Gare Lyon

Paris Gare Lyon

I made it there fine with plenty of time before my train track was announced. I spent the entire 4 hour train ride looking out the window, unable to sleep. The French countryside is beautiful and exactly as you imagine it would be. They also have white cows, which I did not know existed!

White cows!

White cows!

Once I arrived at the Avignon station and met up with my Aunt Sue & Chris, we decided to go straight to Arles and save Avignon for Friday morning. On the way, we first stopped at the Pont du Gard. It’s so funny to me that when I learned about this ancient aqueduct in my freshman year art history class, I never imagined I’d actually see it so soon!

Olive trees are everywhere out there!

Olive trees are everywhere out there!

My Aunt & I at the Pont!

My Aunt & I at the Pont!

My Aunt & Chris

My Aunt & Chris

On the bridge.

On the bridge.

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Phone panorama

Phone panorama

It is an amazing structure, but I was more surprised at all there is to do around the Pont. I thought you could just drive up to it and look at it, but there is actually a whole museum and touristy shopping/eating area. More impressive was the large amount of French people who go there to kayak and swim in the water around the it. If I had known, I would have brought my swimming suit! It looked beautiful and clear, and it is also pretty shallow.

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Another favorite surprise was this beautiful building. It is not labelled, and as far as I know is only being used as an outdoor cafe. We got giant bottles of water and Magnums here and ate with a magnificent view. I really want to find out more about this building, it should be put to better use!

My future home

My future home

The cafe

The cafe

Awesome porches

Awesome porches

The cafe view

The cafe view

Next, we went to the nearby town of Uzes. We walked around and looked in some of the charming shops. One shop keeper had spent a year in San Diego and knew English pretty well. He was very interesting to talk to, and I thought some of his opinions of America and its cities were accurate and well said.

Got Nutella?

Got Nutella?

A plant shop in Uzes

A plant shop in Uzes

An adorable ceramic shop in Uzes.

An adorable ceramic shop in Uzes.

Uzes

Uzes

Uzes

Uzes

A cool mirrored lamp.

A cool mirrored lamp.

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Items in a shop in Uzes

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Uzes

Finally, it was time to go to Arles. At this point I was completely exhausted and starving. We signed in to our hotel across the river, then crossed the bridge into town for something to eat.

City view from across the river.

City view from across the river.

You can see why painters were so entranced by Provence. Look at the lighting and those colors!

You can see why painters were so entranced by Provence. Look at the lighting and those colors!

The sacred temple of martinis? Also, why is there a stone carving in that tree?

The sacred temple of martinis? Also, why is there a stone carving in that tree?

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I love the colorful shutters.

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A private alley.

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Possibly for the photography festival currently happening?

Possibly for the photography festival currently happening?

We ended up at the Place du Forum, home of the Cafe van Gogh.

Cafe van Gogh, subject of the painting Cafe Terrace at Night.

Cafe van Gogh, subject of the painting Cafe Terrace at Night.

We had a yummy meal at a cafe in the Forum, and then after a long day headed back to our hotel to sleep.

A quick shot of the town across the bridge at night.

A quick shot of the town across the bridge at night.

More of Provence is to come over the weekend!

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