I know that I had written that Arles, though a tiny city, is bulging with history. You feel it walking through all of the little side streets, you see it in the architecture, I sensed it in the air. Arles felt heavy, the Romans, the Cathars, the Catholics and the Franks, you can feel their presence. The Roman’s influence is everywhere, you see their stamp right in the middle of Arles with the massive Amphitheater that you can’t but help walk into since all streets lead to it eventually in Arles.
The Cathars and the Catholics have their own edifices, the Cloisters of Saint-Trophine and the very many old, old churches whose names escape me. Trust me that they all start with Sainte and I am sure that there was an Anne and there might have been a man’s name, I’m sure of that as well.
The one bright place with vibrant colors was L’Espace Van Gogh. The gardens as you see in the pictures were so beautiful. This was the hospital where Van Gogh went to recover after he had cut part of his ear off. He lived in Arles from 1888-1889, only one year but he painted around 300 paintings all focused around the city of Arles. Right near the Forum, at the Place du Forum there still exists the cafe that Van Gogh had painted and where he sat and drank. It is now called Cafe Van Gogh and it is a tourist attraction of course. Our bed and breakfast host advised us to steer clear if we wanted to have authentic Arle cuisine. She was a wonderful host and provided us with several different names of restaurants to choose from, in the end the baby girl picked our restaurant and we did very well with her choice.
Our bed and breakfast was really cool, the owner Magali was lovely and the breakfast was wonderful. The only drawback was that without air-conditioning, the bedroom, in that sweltering heat that we had in Arles for both days, was a stifling oven. Otherwise, it was a great bed and breakfast.
I would definitely go back to Arles for a day trip and then go off to visit the region farther in the hills of Provence because that region deserves more than just a few days.