Sunday, November 14, 2010

Provence

My parents were in Europe at the height of the summer for a cruise around the Baltic, and we were fortunate enough to synchronize our schedules for mini-trips together both before and after their cruise. It was the first time in around 10 years that I actually travelled around with them (as opposed to them just visiting me in the different places I've lived since I left home),  and it was fun! I think we have to do this more often, Papa and Mom!

Two days after they arrived from Manila we flew to Marseilles, and from there, travelled around Provence. First stop was the elegant Aix-en Provence, with its tree-lined streets and yellow buildings.




From Aix, we took a bus to the ancient city of Arles, my favorite Provencal town. Not only was it pretty, but it was teeming with history.




We watched an actual bullfight in the Colosseum (Arles is one of the few places outside Spain where bull fights are still held - and allowed), and contrary to the "bloodless bull fights" trumpeted by the guide books, I SAW FOUR INNOCENT BULLS KILLED. It was primitive,  ghastly, but you can't stop watching.



We went on to Avignon, the grand city, dominated by the Palais des Papes, the world's largest Gothic palace. As you can tell from the name, the Pope stayed in Avignon sometime in the 1300s when he had to flee Rome.


Our last stop was sunny (very sunny) Marseilles, where we went to the Vieux Port and the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde



We ate well, of course, and L found out where I got my appetite.