Wednesday, August 27, 2014


 Friday 1 August
After lunch we went on a walking tour of Arles. The major themes of the walk were Roman buildings, Medieval buildings and Vincent Van Gogh who lived and painted in Arles for part of 1888 and 1889.
Arles is entered via the Medieval wall that surrounds the city.
There are many types of architecture in Arles.
The ancient obelisk, dating from Roman times, set upon a seventeenth century fountain is in the centre of the town square.
Also in the square is the Town Hall
and the Church of St Trophime, a building in the Romanesque style dating back to the twelfth century.

But it is the Amphitheatre that really attracts the attention of visitors. This UNESCO Heritage Listed Building was build in approximately 90 AD.
It is just as impressive inside with its rows of curving columns of stone,
arches, passages and staircases.
The stadium is still in use and, in the evenings during the summer, hosts the running of the bulls.

However this is not the only major Roman building in the town.
The Roman theatre is still used to stage events.
Lighting towers have been installed to allow productions in the evening.

When Vincent Van Gogh was in Arles, the Hotel Dieu was the main hospital and he was admitted there on occasions, including when he cut off the lobe of his ear.
He found solace in the garden of the hospital and often painted there when allowed.
The garden has been kept as it would have been when Vincent Van Gogh was a patient.
Other sites relating to Vincent Van Gogh's stay in Arles include the Cafe la Nuit
the scene of another well known painting.
Back on the ship, the Captain's Welcome Cocktail was held at 6.30 followed by the Gala Welcome Dinner in the main dining room. The music in the Lounge after dinner was provided by the three members of the group, Flamingo, performing music with primarily a Spanish influence.

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