Yesterday I travelled from Locarno to Arles. I was really quite sad to catch the train out of Locarno as I had really enjoyed all my walks in the spectacular landscape of my forebears. But I was soon immersed in the spectacular scenery of the Centovalli rail trip to Domodossola. Then it was a swift trip to Geneva. Looked stormy over the Alps. Was amazed by the incredibly intensive grape cultivation on some slopes: no spare bit of land left. At Geneva, basically walked onto a different platform and was in France. For this trip on TGV I had a "prison seat" with no view. Luckily I was able to move until Lyon and it was lovely wooded scenery, with signs of people few and far between. We followed the river in places.
Was thinking it looked like nice rolling cycling country when I was a bit fitter. Then saw tree branches moving from Lyon, and some wind turbines. Sure enough, emerged from the train at Avignon into the Mistral which was surprisingly warm when I had just seen the snowy Alps.
Had no accommodation booked for Arles. Knew the hostel was eight bed dorms and am a bit past that, especially with needing to blow my nose at night at present. Arles station very quiet at 6.15pm in the evening and no sign of hostel's supposed bus connections anyhow. So wandered into town and within ten minutes was in no star hotel, cheap for 2 at 30 Euros but beyond my usual hostel spending. But I am so glad I went there. The bed is so so comfortable. When I needed to blow my nose I just drifted straight back to sleep. People running the place very nice and I have my own balcony overlooking Place Voltaire where I had my lunch. No cleaning hostel lock-out is great too in a compact place like Arles.
Went to the Musée de L'Arles et de la Provence Antiques first off. Very well laid out. Began with stone chipped in prehistory and moved in time to actual waterpipes and glass and metal lcoks and keys. Then explored Roman Arles. Great clambering on the Arena with very little in the way of crowds. The Mistral continues. Very warm in the sun but can get a few chilly blasts. Time to finish for now;