Of all of the activities we were looking forward to, the private winery tour of the Chateauneuf-de-Pape region scheduled for Tuesday was going to be the highlight. The biggie. The piece-de-resistance! And then, as we’re pressed and dressed and out on the street looking expectantly for our ride – I see there’s an email from the company. Our guide is ill and there’s nothing to be done. Can we reschedule for the next day, she asks?? Grrrrr. With much cursing and muttering, I summon a reasonably polite response – well yes, but we have to be in Marseille by 7. D’accord? D’accord.
But now what to do?? We’d seen about all there was to see in Aix and I wasn’t up for another group tour – even if we were the whole group! We finally settled on a day trip to Arles, sorted out the correct bus/timetable, scooted out the door in time to pick up a crepe-to-go and off we went.
Arles is famous for a number of things, but most people know it as the inspiration for many of Van Gogh’s best know works. He only spent @ 15 months there – many confined in the sanatorium – but yet he was incredibly prolific during that period, creating as many as 300 works!
What we didn’t know was that there are a number of roman ruins there – the Romans occupied the area as early as 100 BC – such as a rebuilt amphitheater, a coliseum still in use today, the remains of what were the community baths, and various pieces of roads and fortifications.
We enjoyed seeing the town and marveled at being able to touch a piece of rock carved for a pillar or cornice more than 2000 yrs ago. What a reminder of just how young our country really is..
Last dinner in Aix turned out to be our best – and I’m almost embarrassed to admit that it was a burger and fries! Naturally, it was the French rendition and not your average Red Robin, but still.. Anyway, we stumbled across Marie-Georgette by happy accident in our wanderings with Doug and Kara – we’d passed by the Passage Agard entrance to the small alley where it’s located multiple times and never even took notice. Wonderful food and a comfortable low-key dining experience. Should we find ourselves in Aix in the future, we’ll definitely seek it out! http://www.marie-georgette.fr/