Well hello there! No time like the present to finish up my Europe 2014 blog posts! I’ll spare you the details of the delay, but basically I finally have all of my photos in one location and can much more easily post them.
I won’t be offended if you don’t make it through this entire post because it’s ridiculously long.
SO. We left off our adventures in late July 2014 in Morocco. We took a plane to Marseille . . .
. . . picked up a rental car (which I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend if you’re visiting Southern France), got lost several times (I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you pay extra for a GPS), and finally made it to our Airbnb just outside of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
Getting lost was slightly stressful but also one of the highlights of our trip. We got to drive through so many adorable little towns,
and when we knew we were way off, we stopped at a fruit stand and talked with this hilarious guy and old woman who spoke zero English (well, I guess the guy knew one word, which was the f-word, so that was helpful ha.) but drew us many maps and pictures and bodily gestures to direct us in the right way. Also their fruit was incredible.
The next day, we took this route to visit Les Baux, Arles, and Saintes-Maries-de-la-mer:
First, we stopped at the morning market in Saint-Rémy.
We headed to the nearby village of Les Baux, which Wikipedia describes as having “a spectacular position in the Alpilles mountains, set atop a rocky outcrop that is crowned with a ruined castle overlooking the plains to the south.” We didn’t stay here for long and didn’t do too much besides walk around, pop into some museums and churches, and take some pictures.
Next up, a must for the Van-Gogh fan in our family (Ben). Van Gogh lived in Arles for only about a year, but he produced more than 300 paintings while living here. Arles is also where the famous ear-slicing incident happened.
We parked in a free (!) lot and walked into town along the Rhône river.
Back to Saint–Rémy
I don’t even remember exactly where this was or how we found this, but I think somewhere near Saint-Rémy we bopped around these ruins for a little while.
Gorges de l’Ardèche
It took us forever to figure out where we needed to go exactly to get into the town and rent a kayak. Ben dropped me off near a few rental places while he tried to find parking. When I went inside one of the rental shops, the lady told me we were about two hours too late to start, since it takes several hours to canoe and the last shuttle pick-up was around 5 p.m.
I was devastated and asked if there was anything we could do. She called down to the drop-off point and talked to one of the guys there. After a minute or two on the phone, she looked at me and asked, “Are you fit??” while pumping her arms like a speed-walker, referring to my physical condition. It took me a second to comprehend what/why, and then I quickly responded, “Yes, yes! We are very fit!” while desperately pumping my arms. She told us to get our butts down to the drop-off point and take very few breaks once we were on the water.
I somehow met up with Ben and we sped down to the drop-off point.
Bye, Cute Airbnb
Aix (pronounced eks, we found out) is sometimes referred to as the city of a thousand fountains. There were so many cool ones—below is one of the biggest and most centrally located.