May 1, 2015

May 1, 2015: Arles

One of the very best things about traveling is the unplanned, unanticipated experience. Of course, that is particularly so when that experience is beautiful, unusual, characteristic of its place.

Funny how out of touch with the world around me I can be, perhaps like all foreigners and many expats can be. Today's forecast: grey, chance of showers. I need to leave Arles tomorrow, had an errand or two to do, and a concern about my bike that needs attention. So I spent the last three glorious days riding, leaving city things for today: visit Les Alsycamps, the arena, theatre antique, do some serious walking and looking, bank, train ticket...that kind of thing.

Set off this morning to Declathon, to ask for help with a bike adjustment, to find it closed. Bells rang, lightening flashed. It's May 1st. I'm in Arles, in France. Of course, it is closed, profit, consumerism, sales do not rule above all else! Alsycamps, a national historic site is nearby, there's my next stop. Gates closed, padlocked .... what was I thinking? May Day! It's closed. But the trains will be running, I'll go buy my ticket .... to find the ticket know, closed.

Hurried back to my apartment, and went straight back out, to let the day unfold. First thing I did was to try to position myself near residents who seemed to know what was going to happen. I leaned against the railing surrounding Les Arenes and watched people, some in traditional costumes, and the occasional horse, for about an hour. It turned out to be a great spot.

After lunch I had a walk, happening on the arena, and the 503rd anniversary of the Fete des Gardians. Of course I bought a ticket, and went in. I have never been to a 503rd anniversary! 

It was rainy, cool, the crowd was thinning, I was chilled, and so went back to the apartment to make dinner with pretty much everything in the fridge: parsley, carrots, 2 artichokes (thank you Sarah), a bit of leftover chicken and the end of the creme fraiche made a nice enough sauce for pasta.

What a day .... Bon Fête! Bon jour de travail! Happy May Day!


  1. I'm trying again to write back. Have had trouble doing so.

    Love your posts! Kerp em' coming!

    1. Hey Laurie, what a nice surprise to "see" you here ... Glad you were able to say hello, it's good to hear from you!

  2. Your new camera in your experienced hands is taking some very crisp and interesting pictures. I hope that you can everything else sorted in time.

    1. Thanks, I am absolutely enjoying it, and very pleased with how crisp and clear its basic results are! I'm still low on the learning curve with it .... it can tske better photos than I know how to ask for.

    2. That certainly applies to any camera that I have too.


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