Day 4: Arles, Part II & Saintes Maries de la Mer

So I actually stopped the last post in the middle of exploring the St. Trophime cloister…

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We then went to the top of the cloister which had a beautiful view of the rooftops and looking down into the center of the cloister.

Arles2_46smal Arles2_47small Arles2_48smallI think I also have a thing for beautiful stained glass. Who wouldn't?!

I think I also have a thing for beautiful stained glass. Who wouldn’t?!

Next, we headed out to get something to eat. This was the first day my stomach felt normal since I arrived in France, but for some reason I was still pretty full from breakfast. So, I just shared with my aunt. Of course, we each still had to get deserts and try them!

Across the street from where we ate.

Across the street from where we ate.The meal I shared with my aunt. So good!!The meal I shared with my aunt. So good!!My desert: a strawberry tarte!My desert: a strawberry tarte!

After lunch we went across the street to the Theatre Antique, the ruins of an ancient Roman theater, where they were having Gladiator reenactments. The introduction was this guy speaking in French for at least a half hour, I assume explaining the history and strategy behind the fights, so we didn’t get any of that. But it was still pretty entertaining!

 I wonder if they have concerts here?I wonder if they have concerts here? The first fight..Arles2_58small Arles2_60small

After the gladiator fight we went over to the Amphitheatre, the restored ruins of a giant arena they now use for bull fighting.Arles2_61small Arles2_63small

Arles2_62small Arles2_64small  Arles2_66smallArles2_67small Arles2_65smallRooftop view from the Amphitheatre.

Rooftop view from the Amphitheatre.

At this point we were pretty tired, but it was still way too early in the day to just go back to our hotel. So, we decided to wander back and then drive somewhere else to give our feet a break.

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On the way, we stopped at a few marked sites where van Gogh had painted. I didn’t photograph any of them because they don’t look the same anymore, but there was one that caught my attention.


The Trinquetaille Bridge – Arles, November 1888, Oil on canvas

The bridge is modern and the road is paved, but other than that this scene looks almost exactly the same now. Except that the sapling he painted over a century ago is now a giant tree! I thought that was so cool.


Our hotel in Arles.

After we got back to our hotel and freshened up, we decided to drive down to Saintes Maries de la Mer, the Mediterranean beach capital of Camargue, a wetland region south of Arles.

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We stopped at one of the many horse farms along the way.

They have dog bathrooms everywhere so they don't go on the beach!

They have dog bathrooms everywhere so they don’t go on the beach!

Once we got there, we just started exploring. We decided it was like the French equivalent of the Jersey shore. If I were French, I would definitely go here every summer!

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There is an old church in the center of the city, which you can climb to the top of and stand on the roof to get a magnificent panoramic view of the town. It was a little nerve-wracking, but totally worth it!

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Saying hello to Chris!


Aunt butt.


The French people were a little unnerved, too.


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We then stopped to eat at a Brasserie with live Spanish guitar players singing. It was yummy!

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That heart/anchor/cross/bull poker is the symbol for Camargue. I love it! After we ate, it was time to head back to Arles.

A local Patisserie we passed.

A local Patisserie we passed.

The sunset as we were leaving.

The sunset as we were leaving.

Once we got back to Arles, it was time to sleep! We were getting up early the next morning to go to Avignon, which will be my next post!