Arles    Arles

Historic Arles is special.

Again, there's a story behind my choice of Arles as a worthy town to visit. Joan Baez, one of my favourite singers, recorded a beautiful album, "Blessed are...", back in the 70's.

One track in particular, "Milanese Waltz / Marie Flore", is a massive favourite of mine.

On Good Friday in 1991, I was at home planning a holiday, wondering where to go. On TV, I was channel-hopping on Sky (in the days when there were numerous German channels available on satellite).

There was a French film showing on one such channel, dubbed into German, but what caught my eye was the magnificent scenery in the place it was filmed.

I waited for the credits, which indicated that the town was Arles in Provence. Incredibly that day I had listened to Joan's album and the words of "Marie Flore" mentions that she had been performing in the ruined arena in Arles!

OK - that's coincidence enough, I'm off to Arles!

You've guessed it! Arles is a town which takes your breath away. It has real atmosphere - and is very, very old. The Roman Arena is lovely - so is the walk along the banks of the River Rhone.

A recommendation for dining? Le Jardin de Manon at 14 Avenue des Alyscamps is excellent (visit the Alyscamps too - the marble sarcophagi lining the main road in this Roman necropolis are a wonder to behold!).

Take a look at the Arles website, and share the Provencal atmosphere which so captivated me (and Van Gogh!), and thank Joan Baez and the Astra satellite for pointing me in the right direction.

Arles    Arles


Click on above image for more information on Arles (on-line web page)

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Hotel            Arles            Arles

Alain Deplancke and his wife Brigitte run a friendly, traditional and delightful hotel. Alain is a big Olympique Marseille football fan, and OM won the European Cup back in the early days I stayed at the Hotel de la Muette. So, we had lots to discuss about the beautiful game!

The rooms have been recently refurnished with new facilities and furnishings, but still retain the wonderful charm that was so evident previously. The plumbing which was of the antique kind (it worked highly efficiently, but gurgled more than my stomach after a few pints!) is now more than worthy of the 21st century.

I recommend this hotel extremely highly - I love it there and hope to return again one day soon, if my health will permit.

Alain no doubt is very proud of the French soccer team - so he should be - but OM have fallen from grace since the heady days of the early 90's haven't they, Alain? However the recent remodelling of their magnificent stadium is a sight to behold.

"Muette" translates as "dumb", but there's nothing dumb about Hotel de la Muette, in fact Alain and Brigitte are always happy to engage you in delightful conversation.

I'd love to see you both again soon, mes amis.


Click on above image for more information on Hotel de la Muette, Arles (on-line web page)

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