Arles

We caught the train from Avignon to Arles, known for its Roman ruins and as a setting for the artwork of van Gogh. The town has an almost Tuscan feel about it. Narrow alleyways and tall stone buildings. The centrepiece is the Roman Stadium, once used by gladiators and now bullfighters.Although its appearance has been greatly scarred by modern scaffolding, the view from atop one of the towers is magical. It is unbelievable that a small town of 200 houses and two churches was enclosed within the stadium walls, then used as fortifications. There was a thought about going to Marseilles for lunch, but what is the point, seeing as good boullibaises need to be pre-ordered. We ended up dining at Place du Forum. Note that at this time of year, many shop and attractions close between 11:30 and 2pm. Eventually, we walked back to the train station and bought tickets to Orange. Unfortunately, the next train was scheduled to leave in over an hour and a half. We climbed a stone pylon from at long gone bridge for a wonderful view of Arles across the Rhone. Then wandered some more of the town, discovering a very pretty cross-stitch shop. Back to the station again, only to discover that the trains were running almost an hour late. Just like Sydney! Gave up on Orange, as the sights would be closed by the time we reached there. Could not see much out of the windows of the train as they were all fogged up. Spent the evening strolling through Avignon. The beautiful Rue de Tinteurres is well worth a visit, with waterwheels still turning with the canal that runs alongside the road. Had a fun experience trying to communicate with a shop owner trying to sell us a tablecloth. Eventually she called a friend who spoke excellent English. These are the experiences which may appear frustrating but are often full of laughs.