Saturday, April 29, 2006

More on Arles

OK a bit more on Arles. Internet more affordable here, but using French keyboard has its challenges, eg keep getting q for a!

I was really impressed with the Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence antiques. Modern very well designed building full of local finds starting with neolithic. There is something special about seeing flint arrowheads knowing they were used nearby. And simple pottery beads. Then it moved through time and there were beads of glass and metal locks and metal pipes for carrying drinking water, and needles made from bone. The funerary monuments were especially impressive, from first five centuries AD. Some really elaborate carving on sarcophaghi from early Christians, and poignant tombstone messages not much different from what we might record today.

A highlight at the Ampitheatre was the view you got from climbing the tower. I had been to the Cloister Saint-Trophine on a previous much busier day-trip to Arles when a Feria with bull-fighting was on and the crowds were thick. I guess I wasn't so desperate for the calm today!- but it is still a lovely peaceful place.

I have been enjoying speaking in French sentences instead of my single word efforts in Italian. I have forgotten a lot but mostly can work out how to say what I want. People have all been very helpful. My experience of the French is one of incredible politeness.

Really enjoying some short breaks on my hotel balcony as well, which seems to be protected from the Mistral direction! Most people seem to come to Arles on q day-trip and it is quiet in the evening.

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