Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Little of Provence, France

Tomorrow Ian, Christy and I head for Lucca, Italy by car as our time in France is sadly coming to an end. What a marvelous 10 days we've had here, so many new things to see, people to talk to and I have so enjoyed soaking up every minute of it!!!  I've tried to capture the feeling of this wonderful place, but come visit if you can! Here are a few of many photographs, best to post them now in no particular order before I move onto Italian sights and sounds. 
The Eglise Des Freres Precheurs in Arles. What a find! Christy told me about this, open to anyone who wanted to wander in while clean up was taking place from a big event for the Van Gogh opening a few nights before.

 Place de la Republic at night.

Dawn at the Camargue with my friends Christy, Mike, Betty, Linda and my son, Ian who brought us out here to see the Flamingos… beautiful!! 

Place de la Republic, Arles. 

Rue des Thermes by the Place du Forum, Arles.

Abbey on the outskirts of Gordes. 

 Arles doorway, one of many!

Gordes, just after the rain stopped.

Roussillon, another beautiful hilltop town.

Monday, April 7, 2014

At Home in Arles, France

Ian, Christy and I have been in Arles for a week now, and I'm finding my way around fairly well. I can get to the market, La Place du Forum, La Place de La Republic, and back and forth to where we park our car by the river. It's an extremely friendly town, and if my local bakery is closed, as it was today, I can ask anyone passing by and they will direct me to another one that is open. It helps to speak french, but all in our group are saying that they have been met with kindness and a friendly smile. The old reputation of the French being a bit difficult is no longer true! C'est bon!

Nelly is the property manager of the apartment we have rented for the 10 days we are in Arles. We have all commented on how lovely she is, kind and willing to help with any questions. She helped us get settled our first day here, pointed out the parking and took care of the little issues that always come up in a new place. Could not have asked for a more friendly person, and she is so wonderfully French!

This is Nelly's shop, Farfantello, across the street from our apartment. All kinds of beautiful gifts and toys. She invited me back to take pictures, I always like that!

 There are artists everywhere, this shop has lovely pottery… and tulips.

Our apartment, on the 3rd floor. Love the tall windows in the front and back.

Ian looking good in Arles.

Long exposures, I had fun playing with the possibilities.

Special invitational opening for the Vincent Van Gogh gala. Right on our street, we saw the light show they had at the function held at the Church from our windows. 

Le Plaza, we had an excellent meal here!

They may not look friendly, but they have character. At the outdoor market.

Christy buying bread at the outdoor market.

The courtyard below our window, women having lunch. 

The main living area of our apartment. We have 3 bedrooms, a kitchen and 2 bathrooms, spacious, charming and lots of light!

 Ian humoring me, he makes a great model!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Aix en Provence, France

In my junior year of college 1973-74 I lived in Aix en Provence, in the South of France near the coast. The goal was to receive credit for art history classes and painting, as I was an art major, but what I really learned was how to live away from home in the real world. I shared a studio apartment with another student from the states I met in Aix and we lived on a few Francs a day so we could to travel to Morocco, Spain, England and Greece. It was a magical time!

Today I went back to Aix with Christy and Ian and I found my old school, Institute for American Universities, and enjoyed the markets and lively streets that have been in the old town for hundreds of years.

The main fountain on Cours Mirabeau, the popular tree lined avenue in Aix en Provence.

Just another fountain in town, there are many.

Today was market day, produce and flowers.

Lots of activity getting ready for spring planting.

Over looking the flower market.

Loved her red glasses.

Lunch was outside with many other locals enjoying this beautiful day.

The outside of the church...

Inside was beautiful, too.

We ate lunch just outside these doors in the courtyard.

Aix is a college town with many universities and students, a fun place to be.

You may recognize one of the young men in this image….

Spring in the air.

Me in front of the door to my old school. The motorcycle is not mine, and when I lived here we all got around town on foot and had to make plans to meet verbally in person, no cell phone, no texting and no land line phones either! Nearly medieval...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Off on Another Adventure!

This time to France, with Ian. So the answer to my old title for this blog, where are Amy and Ian now… is Arles, in Provence, France. Christy, who traveled with me, Rita and Vic last year to Italy, is with us as well. Soon to be joined by Betty, Linda and Mike, who arrived today. In spite of the Lufthansa strike that threatened us all. Provence is our chosen area to explore and as we are all photographers, the opportunities to keep us enthralled are many!

Today was a Van Gogh in St Remy day, about a half hour out of Arles, and we have a great Toyota hybrid car rental we picked up at the airport in Marseille. It's so quiet no one can hear us coming, and I accidentally left it on today for bit while we popped into the tourist office.

Voilá some of the images I created at Van Gogh's sanitarium, La Maison de Santé Saint-Paul. His paintings are all over the gardens and in the building, it's a very nice presentation and you can even take a look at the room where he stayed that is somewhat like one of his paintings. He was inspired to create many masterpieces from his time here.

Van Gogh's room

He loved his Irises and they are in bloom now.

A bench I liked.

Church on the grounds. Recognize the chairs he used in his paintings?

A great courtyard!


Back in Arles, in the Place du Forum, about 2 blocks from our apartment. Van Gogh painted this scene many times.