Saturday, January 26, 2008

St Remy en Provence

Nostra Provincia was the term applied by Caesar to Southern Gaul (Southern France), the Roman's first conquest outside Italy. Provence is the French term referring to the areas of Southern France where her Roman conquerors settled after the conquest. They (the ancient Romans) built circuses, arenas, aqueducts, arches, temples, baths and all kinds of things to simulate life in Rome. Much of these remains, some in ruins, others still intact and still being used like the arena in Arles which I had the opportunity to visit seven years ago.
Our third village of the day (after Le Pont du Gard and Les Baux) was St Remy. As we drove into the village we passed Glanum, an ancient Roman settlement of which what remains are Roman ruins.
Then we were dropped off outside the cloisters and church which was the sanitorium where Van Gogh spent some time in. It was very peaceful and beautiful. I don't mind spending time there. Then we walked a narrow path to the village proper, there was displayed paintings (copies) all along the path, those he painted while in Provence. One can truly see how Provence inspired the man.
St Remy is the birth place of Nostradamus.
It is less touristy and we walked the quiet streets, had hot chocolate at a cafe before we went to the rendezvous point where our mini van picked us up to take us back to Avignon.
This was our last night in Avignon and in Provence. Tomorrow we take the TGV and head for Paris. I'd love to come back and soon, I know I will.......

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