Atlantis Alumni

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Our Return To Provence

The first three photos are Les Baux...the last two are Arles.

Yesterday the Celebrity Equinox docked in Marseilles, where we took an excursion to a couple of really interesting towns in Provence: Les Baux and Arles. Les Baux is a wonderful little medieval fortress town perched on top of a hard limestone plateau. The streets are too narrow for vehicles therefore access is by foot only. The town is full of quaint little shops and restaurants. We enjoyed our best luncheon in Les Baux at a fine restaurant. Lunch included a tomato pie atop tapenade, the black olive concoction so popular in the area. That was followed by a boeuf Bourgignon with rice and salad, then a delicious soft-centered chocolate cake, served with ice cream and a red currant sauce, full of the berries. (Since Jim is a vegetarian, he was given a huge plate of cod, and vegetables with a large portion of aoli, the garlicky mayo.) The food in Provence is some of the best in the world. After our visit to Les Baux our tour took us to Arles, famous as the place where Van Gogh spent time painting scenes of Provence. While there is no longer much remaining evidence of Van Gogh in Arles, the town has significant Roman ruins including a large amphitheater still in use, unfortunately in part for bullfighting, a barbaric spectacle that is hopefully on its way out. We toured the arena, a theater and the beautiful Romanesque church before heading back to our ship. In the evening we enjoyed our final dinner on board the Equinox. However, before dinner Dan made arrangements for us return to the Equinox next year for another Mediterranean itinerary. Today we begin our stay in Barcelona. Our last visit here was fifteen or twenty years ago, so we’re looking forward to an enjoyable return visit.

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