10 October 2011

Provence 2011

A week in the south of France, all the way there from Dundee by train (OK I stopped in London for 2 nights each way)....from the grey, damp summer in Scotland to the beautiful bright blue skies and warming sun of Provence.

My friend Karen and I rented a house in Arles. It was a beautiful house, just newly renovated, impeccably decorated and right in the centre of town, just 50m from the Roman arena.




Arles was a great base to explore Provence, although to do justice to the area you'd probably need to spend months rather than a week. We spent a couple of days just relaxing in Arles, wandering the town, visiting Roman remains, eating ice cream, sitting on the roof terrace listening to the crowds in the arena...



We took the train to Avignon one day - to visit the Papal Palace (I didn't know that from 1309 to 1376 the papacy moved from Rome to Avignon), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built over a period of 20 years, this immense palace dominates the Avignon landscape.  We also saw the half bridge made famous in the song Sur le pont d'Avignon. 



We hired a car for 3 days which definitely makes it easier to see Provence. We took a tour to the Camargue to see flamingoes, to St Remy de Provence, where Vincent Van Gogh spent his last years, to Pont du Gard to see the Roman aqueduct, to Gordes high on the rocks of the Luberon, to Uzes in Languedoc - a beautiful town of outdoor cafes, alleys lined with renovated buildings, cute little shops - a great place to spend time. We ate ice cream made with violets and sea salted caramel, had tapas in a cute little restaurant called La Querida in Arles.... I got to swim in the sea at Saintes Maries de la Mer and in the river at Pont du Gard, fulfilling my need to swim outdoors at least once a year!  All in all a fantastic week!
















8 comments:

painted fish studio said...

wow, i am in awe. what a great week!

Thimbleanna said...

It looks like you had a fabulous time -- your photos are gorgeous! I've never been to Provence, but I'd love to visit. Wouldn't it be fun to live there for a year? Or even a summer? LOVE that Patisserie sign!

lykkefanten said...

Looks like a wonderful holiday and I think I'll remember to ask you where you stayed, when we go to Provence (which hopefully will be relatively soon), because it looks like an absolutely beautiful place too.

Tangara said...

You know it had to be me coming up with this...but look at those running legs! It's good to see you showing them off. Oh and yes the flat is nice too.

Arctic Mum said...

Ah, La France, love it. Have actually been to Arles and the area too, but a long time ago. Hope to go back to France next summer.

ibb said...

Lovely photos...lovely place...
I miss some holidays like that...miss them a lot...it is nice to discover other places..thanks.

Heidi said...

Oh, the lavender! I miss France!

Bethany Hissong said...

Somehow I missed this post!!! Ahhh... this looks like heaven to me! Oh how I wish I was there. I love all of your photos! And I have to tell you, my hair looks just like yours now-- it's short! ;) You are so lucky to have been able to go there!