Avignon et Arles

15 Nov

During our time in France earlier this year, we really wanted to spend some time in the Provence region. So after a few days in Paris, we hopped on a train and headed south. We found a duplex rental in an 18th century country home situated near Saint-Étienne-du-Grès. Our host Emma and her husband Herze were very sweet and made us feel right at home. It didn’t take long for me to feel completely relaxed. If you’ve never tried a vacation rental instead of hotels, I highly recommend it.

the wild child south of france

the wild child provence

provence back yard

south of france house

south of france patio

We rented a car and used the duplex in Saint-Étienne-du-Grès as our home base, then spent each day exploring a new area. The South of France is incredibly charming, filled with little villages, rolling fields and ancient cities. Two of the beautiful cities we visited were Avignon and Arles.

Avignon is known as the “City of Popes” because of the presence of popes from 1309 to 1423 during the Catholic schism. It was a lovely city, bordered by the Rhone river. We spent some time wandering, but also visited the Palais des Papes, a historical palace and the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th century. It was pretty magnificent, and provided some beautiful views. We also found this great little restaurant hidden behind the main square.

avignon streets

avignon square

avignon  palace

avignon inside palace

avignon courtyard

avignon views

avignon towers

avignon cafe

It was very windy on the day we visited Arles. I believe Emma called it the Mistral winds. Either way, we were glad to be within the city where the buildings could protect us from the wind. It was a relaxing afternoon getting lost in the streets. We finally found the Arles Amphitheatre, inspired by the Colosseum in Rome. After we spent some time inside, we found a café near the entrance and enjoyed a delicious French lunch.

arles buildings

arles streets

arles ampitheatre

arles columns

arles views of city

arles colosseum

arles french lunch

If we had more days, I would have loved to travel to a few cities along the Mediterranean, but now I just have another reason to go back.

Up next in my France recaps: the Pont du Gard and the one meal I still dream about.

In case you  missed them, you can read my other France recaps: Lounging on the Champ de Mars, Churches in Paris, Locking our love on the Pont des Arts and the Streets of Paris.

One Response to “Avignon et Arles”

  1. Uncle Bob 11/15/2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Always great reading your blogs – Give the big guy a hug for me when you get the chance again. Glad you had fun – I got to see so little of Europe while in the Navy. My biggest trip was from Bremen to Naples by train. Landed and took off in Paris (never got off the plane!). A one day bus ride around Athens (again – on the bus!), Did get to spend 10 hours in Rome once (took the tour to the Vatican – by bus of course!) So glad you get to doo more while you’re there. P.S. there’s no better experience than seeing new places. Love uncle Bob

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