you travel with a guidebook, you just don't need it in Arles. The
tourist office was in the train station. For one euro, I got the map
I needed to take care of me for the day. In Arles there are about
ten Van Gogh destinations. I was able to locate eight of them. Okay,
the yellow markers weren't as clear as I would have liked in a few
places, and all munchkins in the area only spoke French. If I asked
for help (which I didn't) they probably would have scowled at yet
another tourist and said, "Follow the yellow brick road!" So, I was
pleased with the success I had.
I know quite
a few of Van Gogh's paintings, but I only recognized two of the destinations.
The famous yellow house where the artist stayed in Arles, as well
as that bedroom scene, was destroyed in World War II. The house was
very close to the train station and its marker was the first one I
located. All Van Gogh locations in Arles have markers with the paintings
inspired by the scene and some information in French.
I really loved
the interior courtyard of the hospital where Van Gogh painted one
of his masterpieces. I stood in the very spot where my favorite artist
painted! It was right by the tree where he captured the view of a
fountain and some yellow arches. It was a magical moment for me -
and hopefully for the thirty or so Japanese tourists who wandered
into the courtyard along with me. I ignored them and savored the moment.
I planned my
route saving the best destination for last. The night caf�, that I
have known and loved for years, was located at a small plaza area
right in the center of Arles. I had to eat at that caf� (and take
oh, so many photos!) Well, I learned something about France in the
process. Caf�s served lunch from noon until 1:30 in the afternoon.
After that, you can only get drinks. So, I had a coffee at the caf�
-- and still took lots of photos. I definitely saved the best till