Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Roman Road: Arles to Nimes

I wish I had paid more attention in history class. Arles, on the banks of the Rhone, was a key stop on the Roman road from Italy to Spain and was once the capital of Gaul. Remember Gaul?  Over the years it has managed to both preserve and restore much of its Roman heritage, and this is evident as you walk around the city.
There's a wonderful amphitheater and Colosseum and many other structures throughout the town.
Vincent van Gogh settled here in the late 1880s and this too is evident, especially in every souvenir shops.
We enjoyed wandering around the narrow streets, some of which cannot accommodate both a car and pedestrians, and along the river, which is quite shut off from the rest of the town. It looks like some serious flood proofing is underway as new sheet-piling is being installed.
In the main square one sees architecture from many periods although not much 'modern' architecture. Indeed, throughout the towns and villages we have visited, we have some very limited new development in the old part of town.
While it is an old town, there are signs of modernity. A poster for a new photographic show in arles and a neighbouring town was most striking.
I was surprised to find a very modern device in the supermarket. Shoppers check out their products as they cruise the aisles with hand held scanners. Now why don't we do that to avoid long line-ups at Superstore?

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