One of my favorite things about carousels is how the painted scenes are a mini travelogue of the city or region they're in. In the case of Arles, in southern France, this means: bullfighting, flamingoes, and Roman amphitheaters! Not so much what you think of when you think "France," right?
But yeah. Black bulls and wild white horses, cowboys in the marshes, flamingos, and monumental Roman ruins. Also Van Gogh. He painted his most famous paintings here, but none of them remain in Arles. (Did you know he painted the sunflower painting to decorate the guest room in anticipation a visit from Gaugin?) We stayed four days in Arles and didn't begin to see the region, but loved what we did see. I'd go back there in a heartbeat.
Clementine took this picture the morning we snuck out early for croissants and let Jim sleep in.
Clementine fell hard for croissants. I guess she'd never had one before? Our first morning in France she had her first one. Her eyes went wide and she demanded, "CAN WE HAVE MORE CROISSANTS FROM NOW ON?"
Smack in the middle of town, this huge colosseum. First Century, yo!
This thing is ALMOST TWO THOUSAND YEARS OLD!
We rented a little house right next to it, and it was wonderful! We mostly did airbnb on this trip and got apartments instead of hotels. I'd been iffy about airbnb when they first started, but I'm pretty sold now. Tons of listings for apartments and houses to rent in all different price ranges. It's more personal than an agency, and in every case we found a decent place in an amazing location. This one was the cutest of the lot. (Well the London place was very cute too. I skipped London on the blog! I'll double back to it!)
For some reason, almost all the Arles listings on airbnb are way more amazing, artistic, and cute than in other cities we looked at. Browse them here and see what I mean!
The Romanesque church of St. Trophime dates to the 12th Century and is GORGEOUS.
Clementine took this one too! She's getting pretty good :-)
We were lucky to be there on market day.
Found some lovely shops too. This one especially: Les Accessoires d'Audrey. SUCH fun stuff.
Last but not least, the view from the city of the nearby Abbaye de Montmajour:
Sigh. So nice. Honestly though, I'm really happy to be home!!!