Day 9 – Arles Be Back

Today we ventured slightly further afield with a visit to Arles, a city to the west of our base in the Luberon, and on the way towards Spain. Arles is a city with a great deal of history as evidenced by the striking Roman ruins in the heart of the old town. Today we had the services of an English speaking guide for a few hours who showed us around some of the historical sights and provided the background story to the city.

As the day was quite hot, our lovely guide suggested a stop for glaces half way through the tour much to everyone’s delight.

At the conclusion of our guided tour, we were deposited at our luncheon restaurant, la Pergula, where we had a simply superb lunch, and were happy to be out of the heat.

After lunch, we were on the road again, with several ladies vowing that they would return to Arles another time for a more in depth visit. Our next destination promised another dose of culture as we prepared for the sight and sound spectacular that is Carrieres de Lumieres, this year featuring works of Vincent Van Gogh and a shorter presentation called Japan Dreaming that consisted of traditional Japanese artworks projected onto the quarry walls, floor and ceiling. The presentation was an unforgettable experience, with so many familiar paintings represented and set to a moving soundtrack of music from Mendelssohn and Debussy to Ryuichi Sakamoto.

A little bit tired from a big day out, the ladies sat quietly contemplating their day on the drive home, where there was time for a quick freshen up before once again setting off for Lourmarin. This time to visit a smaller farmers market and enjoy a glass rose with a few friends while soaking up the local atmosphere.

Then it was off to a very special BBQ dinner at the home of Joelle, who graciously invited us into her home to show us what a French BBQ is like. A wonderful experience to enjoy the simple pleasures of a BBQ meal amongst a group of friends both new and old, sitting around the table comparing cultural differences and exchanging stories from home.

After what seemed far too short a time, we said our goodbyes and boarded the van for the short trip back to our chateau and bed.

Bon nuit.

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