we didn’t get to sleep in today and i’m sure madame rousseau was surprised to see us so much earlier than yesterday, but we had to catch our train to arles. of course the train conductor must have decided that he wanted some wine or more croissants so he was running late and we missed our connection in lyon by about 30 minutes! we got reassigned and had about 1h30 for lunch so we ate at a brasserie right by the station. it really wasn’t worth mentioning.
finally we made it. arles – the one city other than paris that i had to go to! van gogh did much of his work here and i wanted a real-life impression. walking to the hotel we passed the “boule-ing alley,” where the old men play petanque, which is like bocci ball, and a french carnival! our hotel was about 10 steps from the view of “starry night over the rhone…” i was in heaven!
our hotel guy (we think he owned it actually) was very helpful! he recommended some restaurants and we picked the one for bouillabaise. first we followed rick steves’ walking tour past the roman arena, forum square (where you can find cafe van gogh,) st. trophime church, and the classical theater. everything was closed already except the cafe where dad had a beer and i had hot chocolate. we walked more, stopped for a glass of wine, and finally went to dinner.
bouillabaise was better than i imagined but the fish bones were kind of annoying. we tried to get ice cream, but the place rick recommended was closed.
my favorite part of the day was walking along the river at night in exact view of “starry night.” kind of ironic… but i even saw a shooting star! it was like a movie or dream or something! it was already surreal enough to be there, looking at the same horizon as van gogh. unfortunately my picture did not do it justice!
we had another drink at another bar before turning in for the night. tomorrow we’re headed to avignon after seeing the sights of arles in an open state!