Arles-best sights museums???

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Mar 13th, 2004, 10:32 AM
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Arles-best sights museums???

What's your tour suggestions? Memorable art museum?
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Mar 13th, 2004, 10:52 AM
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Not exactly an art museum, but you can obtain directions for a Van Gogh walk through Arles at the tourist office. The hospital where he was treated after cutting off his ear has been converted to an art gallery, with many shops, cafes, etc. The gardens apparently have been planted as he described them in a letter.

We enjoyed the Arlaten Museum. We also visited St. Trophime church and the cloisters were very interesting.

If you enjoy visiting Roman ruins there is the theater and the arena, which is still in use, as well as the baths of Constantine.

Arles is a wonderful place to base for day trips. I strongly recommend going to Pont DuGard and Nimes.

If you are a nature lover, go to the Camargue. We did a great nature hike from the Camargue National Reserve.

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Mar 13th, 2004, 10:57 AM
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Hi, Jeri--

In Arles the major sights are the Roman arena and theater, the church of St.j-Trophime and its cloisters,the Museum of Christian Art, the Museon Arlatan (great folk art exhibits, and the Alyscamps. That's just for starters. I would really advise you at this point to get a copy of the green Michelin guide for Provence so you can see everything that's suggested for Arles (and other areas, but not the Côte d'Azur); the listings go on for pages!
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Mar 13th, 2004, 04:53 PM
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If you're going to be there a few days, I'll second the above suggestion for the Camargue. The nature reserve is fantastic. They have three walks and we enjoyed it so much we took all three.

Then you could drive on down to Stes. Maries de la Mer where they have the gypsy festival (preferably not during the festival unless you are more into crowds than we). There is a lovely long sand beach with free parking there . . . and flamingoes in the pond across the road. There are horseback tours of the Camargue if you enjoy horses.
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Mar 13th, 2004, 05:17 PM
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Pls keep tips coming! What is a gypsy festival like and when might that occur? Are there any special shrines in Stes.Maries de la Mer?
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Mar 13th, 2004, 05:47 PM
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JeriB:

It's time to buy a guidebook and a map. There are lots of people here who will be more than happy to share their information with you, and who have, but many, many of your basic questions will be answered in the Michelin Green Guide or another reputable guidebook.

I would suggest you think of this forum as an adjunct to your own research, not just the only source of information. Even if everyone here who is an expert on Provence answers, you may still be missing some very obvious information that you may need when you get there. Perhaps I'm wrong, but your questions seem to indicate you are using this forum exclusively to plan your entire trip - not an approach I would endorse, even valuable as this forum is.
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Mar 13th, 2004, 08:56 PM
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The gypsy festival is in May and is very crowded. Stes. Maries de la Mer is crowded during tourist season but not horrible. The Camargue is a huge area so people spread out. A lot are at the beach and quite a few out on horseback tours.

If you like, here is a web site about the area. http://www.beyond.fr/villages/stemariesmer
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Mar 14th, 2004, 09:20 AM
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StCirq, I have many guide books about Provence and even purchased a Michelin map based on recommendations from this forum, however the books go so far. Nothing can compare to the up to date and first hand knowledge my fellow fodorites are in possession of. On my last trip I visited a few areas and restaurants because of such tips. And had wonderful experiences. The B&B that I booked in Switzerland from a Frommer's book suggestion was the pits. There I should have done more research via this forum. Just because I ask a lot of questions and they are simply put, please do not infer that I am novice trip planner. But I know what I do not know and value all the advice my fellow fodorites share.
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Mar 14th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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Up-to-date knowledge about hotels are restaurants is important, but the must-see sights in an area don't change much. That's why the guidebook suggestions.
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Mar 14th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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Underhill you are right, but I also like to hear first hand info and impressions of the sights. On our trip to Italy, there were so many villas and so little time that we knew we couldn't visit them all. So again I got a feel for the "essence" or best sights to visit. I realize this will vary from individual to individual, but it's a good starting point to plan from. Again I thank everyone for their wonderful advice.
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Mar 14th, 2004, 11:57 AM
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Jeri -

Sure you don't want to rethink that pastis?
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Mar 14th, 2004, 12:20 PM
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Yes I could use some pastis right now. My husband's cousin in Germany always encouraged me to have a drink after dinner-I think I need a little mellowing. But I really have learned a lot here. My two bases for the trip were to be Aix and Antibes and that totally changed after research and tips from this forum.
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Mar 14th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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If not pastis, how about Champagne?
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Mar 14th, 2004, 02:12 PM
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Ahhh, champagne sounds better, I'd like to try it with Kir. Is that a real drink or did I just make that up?
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Mar 14th, 2004, 04:18 PM
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No, but you didn't make up is a Kir Royale. The "regular" Kir is made with Bourgogne aligoté, a non-sparkling white wine.
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Mar 14th, 2004, 04:51 PM
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We loved Arles' market. What a wonderful day we had. As a matter of fact, we bough pastis and absynthe at a small shop not far from the market area.
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Mar 14th, 2004, 04:54 PM
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uhoh, the Absynthe you bought is a pastis. It's still unfortunately illegal in France but you can get it in Spain.
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Mar 14th, 2004, 10:29 PM
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If I am not mistaken, absynthe has just recently been legalized. I'll still stick with my nice, pleasant little pastis, in any case.
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Mar 15th, 2004, 04:56 PM
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I think it HAS been legalized. Will it still fry drinkers' brains?
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Mar 15th, 2004, 05:02 PM
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I think it's been at least a year or two since it was legalized, though I recall reading that what is legal now is not as potent as it used to be.

There's a fascinating little wing of the chateau at Avers-sur-Oise devoted to the culture of absinthe.
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