Following Van Gogh footsteps
The crazy red-haired painter was my main motivation for this travel. I'd been fascinated about the colors of his paintings since I was old enough as to understand that the best paintings are not the ones that capture the reality, but the ones that capture the spirit of that reality (subtle detail, isn't it?). When I finally reached the famous gate, the same one that I'd admired so many times. Reaching that place will be the subject of a "warnings and dangers" tip of Arles that is still to come. By now, let's simply say that this is an important moment, because sometimes you have to compare reality with genius. It was clear to me that this time, the Genius won the game. ;-)
A must read for Provence lovers
A Year in Provence
.... a funny book by Peter Mayle is for anyone who loves and appreciates not necessarily the city of Arles but the entire Provence.
After two trips to the Provence I finally got around to reading it, and it has its moments in depiction of the local customs of its people. The copy I read from my hometown library also had some very good illustrations.
You can rent it from the library, lots of used copies are available on the net for ~$2, or buy a new one. I hear there is a DVD / movie now.
I enjoyed it.
French Arles became the first aincient Roman city, that I've seen. In a year later I saw the Roman Collosseo and other sights which became prototypes of Arles's constructions. I saw them in Arles for the first time, and it has made strong impression.
After falling of Rome in Middle Ages about 879 Arles became the capital of Kingdom Arl. Then it got in sphere of influence of the German confederation. It is interesting, that in 1178 Friderich Barbarossa was crowned here. In 1487 Arles was attached to France.
Out of Arles: Horse Riding
As we were travelling from the National Park back to our hostel, we pass by a lot of "farms" offering horse ride into the national park and we thought is was a good idea and went for it. We chose Promenade A Cheval Poney because we saw that their horses are much more well maintained. Good choice and had loads of fun for a 1.5 hours ride into the woods, across the river and back to the farm. Loved it...
Le Theatre Antique
As you can see in the photo, most of this ancient theater is long since gone, but it has been fitted with modern seating so that it still functions as it was originally intended: as a stage for plays, concerts, etc. Now, as in its heyday, it seats about 10,000.