Described in some tour guides as an immense pile of stone, Mike Arbogast and I visited Les Baux on one of our morning photo-trips. Despite it high ranking as a tourist location in Provence, it is a pile of rocks. I think during the day it would be horrible to visit this town, but early in the morning, when Mike and I walked through the town along rue du étrecant, the town was pleasant. The street took us through the ghost town and up to the ruined château.
On the first Sunday we all headed off to L`Isle-sur-la Sorgue. It was Market Day and the town has one of the largest markets in Provence. The river Sorgue forms a series of canals as it runs through this small town. We remember from our trip in 2000 how pleasant the town was.
Market day was exciting, but it would be better to visit the town on a day other than the Market as it is simply too crowded.
We went to Arles to the Église St-Trophime, a former cathedral, too see the famous cloisters. The church was built in the 11th & 12th Centuries. The 12th Century portal of the church is grand and considered to be one of the finest achievements of southern Romanesque architecture.
To the Right: Saints and the Redeemed on the left side of the West Portal.
Full-length statues of apostles and saints stand on guard on either side of the portal.
While the outside is spectacular, the inside is rather dark.
It is the cloisters which are the main draw. The north and east galleries of the cloisters date fromthe 12th Century and are Romanesque in style. The south and west galleries date from the late 14th Century and are built in a Gothic style.
After visiting Saint Trophime we walked over to see the Roman Arena. I remember being in that arena a number of years ago to watch a bull fight. My first and last.
Arles is an easy city to walk about with the arena, the church, cloisters and other roman structures to see.
The town is interesting and within a short drive is Glanum, the site of Roman ruins. Mike and I stopped by the "Les Antiques" which are just 1.5 km from the town. Not only are they impressive, but they sit right by the road out in the open.
They comprise of a triumphal arch, that was built to celebrate the Roman conquest of Marseille; and a mausoleum, that is thought to commemorate two grandsons of Roman ruler Augustus.
The arch and the mausoleum just sit right by the road.
We went to Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, twice, once on a market day (way too busy) and then a couple of days later when we could walk about and appreciate the town.