Friday, 8 October 2010

Finding inspiration


Our stop in Arles was intended to break a long car journey. We had time to visit the Museum [see previous blog entry] and in addition allowed ourselves another hour for a meal and a short walk in the old town. It was a sunny day, hot enough for everyone to walk in the shade of the massive plane trees that lined the road. The cafe terraces were crowded and the open air restaurants pretty full as well.

Right opposite the Espace van Gogh [what was the hospital when he lived in Arles] we found a small restaurant where we sat under a parasol and ate lamb tagine followed by fromage frais with honey and red fruits. The atmosphere was peaceful, the food was good and the pace of life distinctly leisurely.

                            The Espace Van Gogh, a colourful square surrounded by shady arcades.
There was just time for a short stroll to the nearby Place de la République to see the 'pyramide' and the marvellous carved figures on the façade of St Trophime cathedral.
The impression we gained is that Arles is a town where it is good to live. And we only saw it on an ordinary day. There are many traditions, many festivals. At such times the city is vibrant and recalls its long and rich history.
Plenty there to set the imagination working.



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