Sunday, July 21, 2013

Braving the roads to Aix and Arles

   We returned unscathed from our first out of town voyage. It was no problem finding Aix-En-Provence which is only an hour away. After all, we have trusty Sidney, our GPS that came with the car.
   The kids named the devise after my prolific praising of said machine. Months ago, when I was reserving my rental car, the agent was really encouraging me to get the GPS. I was saying, "Baa- who needs a GPS, I have a great sense of direction.  Amateurs...". Upon arriving, I quickly referred to Sidney as my new best friend as I relied on her to get us the 6 km. from our house to town. I could not remember for the life of me, which way to go out our driveway. What has happened to my acute sense of finding my way?
    After Aix, which we got to in an easy hour, we headed to Arles to see 2,000 year old, Roman ruins. It should have been an easy, straight shot. I ended up a few miles from Marseille-completely the wrong direction. Sidney-what happened? She betrayed me. I lost all trust in her. We went a good hour out of way, then sat in the most horrific traffic that I am sure continued all the way to Spain. I took my first opportunity to escape that highway and Alas, we arrived in Arles. No matter that it was nearly 6:00 p.m., the crowds had thinned and we even found parking without an issue.
   Aix-en Provence is a lovely university town with plenty of culture, history and beautiful sites. Our agenda was to go to a museum featuring the Impressionist painters, then to the main drag called Cours Mirabeau. A quick lunch(by French standards), then on to the next town. There are beautiful fountains every few blocks. Most still offer potable water to quench a thirst, cool one's face or wash off hands.
The artwork in the museum was an honor to see and the kids showed an appreciation for the Impressionist masters that they have heard about like Cezanne, Renoire, Matisse, Picasso and Salvador Dali(Clay's favorite).
   The ruins in Arles were dramatic. We walked through the inner hallway around the whole coliseum where Gladiators used to fight. There was very dark, large rooms to the inside which were closed off with large, heavy iron gates. We imagined lions readying to devour some poor Christian citizen, iron clad fighters and ornate carriages careening through the coliseum.
   It was a quick visit, then we were off to the next town to find our hotel, which also had us driving in a few circles. but, we made it and the adventure continues in the next blog entry.


UnclePhool said...

Arles is a neat city. I also really liked Avignon with it's history of the Papacy (not sure if GPS can help navigating the narrow one way streets there or not). Pont du Gard is not far from there either, which was neat in the evening when all lit up. Probably no end to all the interesting historic and cultural experiences you and the kids can have. How exciting!

Margery Poitras said...

Avignon is another trip as I lost so much time being, well, lost. I look forward to seeing the historic sites you mentioned- and yes- we will get some poor soul to photograph us on the bridge, doing a jig.

Margery Poitras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.