Arles, France

The van Gogh Trail

Near the Van Gogh Cafe
From Avignon, we travelled by train through Provence to Arles, the town where Vincent Van Gogh painted some of his most beloved works. We began our holiday to France several weeks before in Amsterdam where the inspiring Van Gogh Museum led us to Arles to learn more about Vincent, his life and his art. Did you know that Van Gogh sold only one painting in his difficult life? He was only 37 years old when he died. In Arles, I was thrilled to stroll the Van Gogh Trail, where I stood at some of the very spots where Vincent Van Gogh painted.  We looked over the Grand Rhone River where Van Gogh created "Starry Night Over the Rhone". We stopped to eat in the square believed to be the place where Van Gogh painted “Café Terrace at Night”. It was a warm, sunny day in late April and like much of France, there was an air of celebration here.

You can easily walk around charming Arles and find other worthy sights. We sought out the exceptional Roman Amphitheatre, Les Arenes, which was built almost 2,000 years ago by the Romans, and is still used today for events such as bullfighting (no bulls are killed). In the old courtyard near the Eglise St- Trophime, a 12 century church, we were surprised by enthusiastic equestrians.

After a few hours of enjoyable traipsing around Arles we went back to the train station to discover we had an hour or so wait for the return train to Avignon. We had to find a nearby outdoor café, sip wine and watch the pleasant bustle around us, and chat about the wonderful time we had in Arles.

Arles, in beautiful southern France, a place to return to.