Thursday, January 03, 2008

The twin cities of Tarascon and Beaucaire

The marina in Beaucaire

A beautiful houseboat, the 'Bruxelles escape', moored at the marina in Beaucaire.

Market day in Beaucaire, it was nice and warm, very like Southern California, elsewhere in France, it has turned cold but in Provence, the sun is still shining and warm.

The bridge over the Rhone river leaving Tarascon and heading towards Beaucaire.

View of the Chateau of good King Rene taken from the bridge over the Rhone river, the steeple of Sainte Marthe is also in sight.

View of the chateau of good King Rene, taken from the inside garden, just outside the ticket office. We didn't want to pay the entrance fee so we were confined to just that little area from which to take pictures. It's probably empty inside anyway.

The garden in the courtyard of the chateau.

View of the moat.

There's a moat on one side and the river Rhone on the other, so the castle is pretty well defended.

The castle of good King Rene, who was really a count but because he was so good to his subjects, they call him King till today.

Sainte Marthe

We went to Tarascon by train from Avignon on Sunday. It is hard to do anything on Sunday, most places are closed in the villages outside Paris. I've seen the chateau from trains during all my trips to Provence and after 8 years of traveling in the area I'm finally stepping foot in Tarascon. I had really wanted to go to the Souleiado museum but there was no one about I could ask as to where it was. We took pictures of the castle from the outside because we were too hard up to cough up the entrance fee. I told a friend, we, Americans have become the poorest tourists in Europe. The church was pretty well attended and there was a soloist singing beautifully. It is always heart warming to be in a church in Europe and to see the locals still attend church. We were in Rocamodour one year and in church on a sunday, there were French families of all ages, not just the old people.
The castle was right on the edge of the river Rhone, we walked over to the village of Beaucaire. I, finally found out that Beaucaire is just across the river Rhone from Tarascon. I had never understood why books put Tarascon and Beaucaire together, they're actually twin cities. There is a canal that comes right up to Beaucaire and connects with the canal du midi so a lot of houseboats were moored there. It was a really pleasant Sunday. I live for moments like these. I work hard at my job, I saved and now I save more (it's getting very costly) so I can have more moments like these.
Every time I finish a trip I ask myself 'where to next?'

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