An Afternoon in Arles

Arles is famous for two things, its Roman ruins and its association with Van Gogh.  However, it’s a beautiful town.  Its right on the River Rhone.  It has open squares with very busy cafes linked by narrow streets lined with quaint houses and shops.

I didn’t know however that Arles has bullfights conducted in the amphitheater, including Provencal-style bullfights in which the bull is not killed.  It’s a team of athletic men who attempt to remove a tussle from the bull’s horn without getting injured.  Every Easter and the first weekend of September, Arles also holds Spanish-style corridas (in which the bulls are killed) with an encierro (bull-running in the streets) preceding each fight.

It was extremely hot when we ventured into Arles from our ship.  We only had a short walk to the main gates of the town. As with many towns it is surrounded by a wall.  Here is part of it.


Arles – Part of the wall surrounding the town

Armed with a dodgy map of the town in Arles we were on the hunt to find the Cafe du Forum where Van Gogh painted the world-famous Cafe Terrace at night.  Did we find it, we are not sure.  It was hot so we hunted out the shade of the buildings.  I look at the map now on the internet and yes pretty sure we walked right past it.  I also look at my photos and perhaps we did.

Whether we did or not, Arles is very pretty.


Arles beyond the wall – gorgeous


We wandered past the Amphitheater that also was once used for gladiatorial competitions.  With enough remaining of the original building to give you a good impression of what it would have been like 2,000 years ago.


Arles Amphitheater – Bullfights and Gladiators

As in many other towns we just kept walking and taking photos.

It’s always important to look up, you never know what you may miss if you don’t.


Just hanging around.

We seem to come across weddings when we travel.  As we arrived in the square we noticed quite a few people arriving at the town hall.  There were also many onlookers so we found a cool spot to wait and watch.  Yes, it was a wedding but they crowded around the bride we didn’t see her however pretty sure it was a “pink” wedding.


Guests waiting for the bride


They kept us and all the other on lookers entertained for the good part of an hour.  Then all of a sudden they were inside the town hall.

We got up from our cool spot ready to do some more walking.  Coming across this amazing place.  Van Gogh painted Le Jardin De Maison in Arles.  Le Jardin – the garden is very pretty.


Le Jardin de Maison Arles

This garden or Le Jardin was so cool after the heat.  We slowly wandered around looking at all the beautiful plants and flowers.

We both then decided we would start heading back to the ship for a tall cold drink.

I didn’t want to leave Arles, it seemed to have worked its way into my heart.  I didnt know then but I would feel this way about every town we were to visit.

So much history and as you wander around you never know what you are going to find.  Little streets with so much character.  Bikes propped up outside the homes, beautiful archways covered in vines.


Little streets, bikes makes Arles so beautiful.


As we walked along the Rhone river we came across this.


Starry Starry night over the Rhone

Van Gogh painted this at night on the banks of the Rhone.  It was only a 1-2 minute walk to the yellow house n the Place Lamartine which Van Gogh was renting at the time.

From here it was a short walk to our ship where we were greeted by cold drinks and a wet towel.  Made our way into the lounge for a cool drink – wine was my choice.

What an amazing day.  We pack so much into each day, it’s always nice to be able to sit in the lounge with a cold drink and relax.


Next Stop Avignon – Palais Des Papes



11 thoughts on “An Afternoon in Arles

  1. WOW! Lovely, lovely, lovely! I never knew any of that ancient history of Arles, the Roman ruins, just incredible to see. GREAT photos, Bree!!! I did know about the Van Gogh association but it’s one thing to ‘know’ and another to see, right?! I admit i am soooo envious of your trip! Thank you so much for sharing it with us, with your excellent write-ups and pics!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a fantastic exploration. I’m not keen on the whole bull thing, but them not being killed definitely gets a thumbs up from me. Made me chuckle about not being sure whether you went to the Cafe Terrace or not, that definitely sounds like something I’d do! Safe journeys with your next destination 🙂
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

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