Trip Start Jun 10, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of France  ,
Friday, August 10, 2007

Wow talk about a culture shock. After spending two months in the UK and Ireland, the south of France is a whole other world. After sleeping (for about an hour) in the corner of an airport (we had to be there for 4:30am so we just hung out), flying to Provence, taking a bus to Marseille, and a train to Arles, we are sure anything would seem nice. Considering the weather here is 28 and sunny, it is even better (and Megan hasn't stopped smiling). It didn't get above 19 where we were any day. Arles is a very old town that had some good luck. A few years ago they backed a winner by supporting Julius Caesar. After Jules defeated Pompey, he rewarded Arles with much love. He and his successor Augustus built an incredible Amphitheatre and an equally impressive Antique Theatre. Both have been in use in some fashion for 2000 years now. The amphitheatre was a place where 20000 would gather to watch criminals and animals fight to their deaths with gladiators. Then it became a fort.  In the middle ages 212 houses and 2 churches were built inside before a massive restoration project in the 19th century. It now is open for tours and is home to weekly bullfighting events (they serve bull at every restaurant in town incidently).
The Antique Theatre is still being used for entertainment events like plays and concerts. Those are only two of the many Roman and Medieval sites Arles is home to.
All that AND Vincent Van Gogh!  He arrived here in 1888 and went on to paint most of his classics here including, Café Terrace at Night, Starry night over the Rhone, and Courtyard of the hospital at Arles. It is pretty neat to visit the actual sites of these works and see what he saw. Talk about art and culture, Arles just oozes it.
The food isn't too bad either. We of course had to have crepes for breakfast which were fabulous. We also think we have found the location of all of Ireland and the UK's vegetables!  Again fabulous. We must also announce that the streak is over. Two months having at least a beer each day ended upon our arrival here. We have traded in the pint glasses for wine glasses. We purchased an ok bottle of Cote du Rhone wine for about 4 bucks Canadian, not bad. We think we can get used to this!  Off to Avignon.
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