11. May, 2016


TUESDAY 10-05-16

We both had a rough night last night as the rain had pounded the roof of the motorhome for a  number of hours. This morning Rosina took a chance and made for the bathroom block in the hope she could bag the one and only shower cubicle. Her luck was in, I instead stayed in the motorhome and did the necessary.

Breakfast for me was, once again, Froggie cornflakes, sprinkled with sultanas, a packet of which we'd bought along with us. The Chef had used about 20% of the packet in a recipe and now I had to munch my way through the remaining 80%.

We were a bit slow away in to the town of Arles, arriving there by bus about 11:00, €1 each for about a 2-mile trip.

The reason we were there was to take a look at the town's Roman ruins. The historical area is fairly compact and walkable. First we came across the Roman Theatre, once a fortress, many of its stones since removed for other buildings, which had 2,000 tiered seats arranged in a hemisphere. The two remaining columns are called the "two widows". These days it stages the Arles Festival, as well as being a nice little earner in entry fees from tourists.

Next it was off to the Amphitheatre, one of the best-preserved monuments in Roman Provence. In our opinion nothing like as impressive as the one we visited in Pula, Croatia, but this is France, so we shouldn't really compare them. Looking through the gaps in the building we could see that there was lots of steelwork for temporary seating built around the inside. There are 21,000 of them and they hold bullfights in there during the summer months, and so we certainly wouldn't go in and give that kind of event our support. I'm sure I also saw a large poster near the entrance advertising a concert there with Susan Boyle wearing a sequined straightjacket.

After further trudging around we came across the River Rhône, much wider than I imagined it would be. We walked along its bank trying to find The Baths of Constantine, trickier than we thought it would be, and were close to giving up and having lunch instead, when The Chef spotted the sign. We grudgingly paid €3 each for a look around what remained of the complex. It would have been a very large facility when it was built as only about one third remains standing. Walking round I thought to myself 'I bet they had more than one shower cubicle in here'.

Having had enough of old piles of bricks we went to the 'Place De La Republique', not for any more culture but to buy a baguette and a piece of pizza for lunch and have a sit down. Afterwards we had a bit more of wander before deciding we'd seen enough and since the sun had come out and it was sunny and warm, though a bit windy, we thought we'd go back to the campground for a sit outside in the reclining chairs.

After a nice relaxing session we decided that, as we'd dragged along our newly purchased, rather heavy Petanque set, we'd go and have our first play at it on the campsite's pitch, or whatever they call the field of play in petanque. I think this must have been a game the French invented when they realised they'd be no good at cricket or carpet bowls. Still it was an enjoyable hour, and we only stopped because the wind was getting up and the sky darkened, it certainly looked like rain was imminent.

This evenings meal created indoors within a confined space was potato rosti, baked beans, fried eggs, crusty baguette and a few glasses of wine. Eat your heart out Gordon Ramsey.