Thursday, May 10, 2007


the colors of Provence- Sometimes I go through old photographs to look for inspiration. I found these taken in March 2002 in Arles. I remember that trip very well. They had just introduced the euro and the US dollar was strong against the euro. European travel was cheap. $650 got me a return ticket between Los Angel es and Nice. I remember staying in this quintessential provencal hotel in Avignon for 100 euro a night ($80). I couldn't afford this hotel today. I remember how delightful old Nice was, of being enthralled by old yellow buildings and narrow and crooked alley ways. I've been back to Nice two more times after that first trip and still love old Nice. It has become an old friend. I remember running out of cash in Monte Carlo and couldn't find an outside ATM machine. I was buzzed into some of the fanciest banks but there weren't any ATM inside. Finally I found one operated by Banco Popular of Cote d'zur.
Some friends and I had arranged to go on that trip together. They cancelled one by one and I ended up going by myself. That was the best part, I enjoyed it so much even though I was scared and unsure of myself; I've been traveling to Europe twice a year ever since.
In March, the land was bare but the almond blossoms were in full swing. Each time I looked at Van Gogh;s painting of Provence and Almond blossoms, I understood what he saw. I learned to love Calixsons, a confection from Aix en Provence. I remember the espresso at the bar/cafe of the train station in Avignon. I spent many mornings there because I was always catching the train in the morning to go somewhere for the day.
Arles was one of those day trips. These pictures were taken in Arles.
I look forward to being in Provence later this year.

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