Erin Explores

by Erin Elaine

France: Arles, Avignon, Nimes, Marseille (March 2013)


This past weekend I spent 3 days in Southern France, getting a short taste of 4 different cities, exploring multiple Roman ruins, trying escargot for the first time, meeting new friends, and devouring lots of French desserts. It was a great trip despite the pouring rain in Nimes!

This was a super cute small town known for its Roman arena, Roman theater, and for being the subject of several Van Gogh paintings. The weather was great when I visited, and it was a market day. I really fell in love with Arles and I would love to return eventually.

I spent the afternoon in Avignon and the grey clouds were rolling in, and some of the attractions were a bit pricey, so I just saw them from the outside. I think I need to give Avignon another chance when the weather is better. I did try escargot for the first time here, and they were delicious! Similar to clams but a bit less chewy and just as tasty.

Funny story: I was having a conversation with 3 guys at the hostel. One was from France, one was from Greece, and one was from China. We were speaking English of course, since that was the only language we all had in common. We were talking about our travels, our lives, etc. I had mentioned that I was living in Madrid and I flew from there since the flight was cheap. After talking for about 30 minutes, one of the guys asked where I was from. I said “The United States” and all 3 of them were like “Ohhhhhh!!!! THAT’S why your English is so good!” The Greek guy said “I thought you were a Spanish girl with a really American accent!” The French guy said “I was about to compliment you on your English!” I joked “Why thank you!” We all had a good laugh.

I was originally going to visit Pont-du-Gard, but since it was pouring I figured it would be better to visit a city where I could at least be inside for part of the day. I went with 2 girls from my hostel, so that was fun. We saw the best-preserved Roman Arena in the world. It was quite a bit larger than the one in Arles. We also saw a Roman temple.

The weather was amazing on the third day, nice and sunny but not too hot to be walking around a hilly city. My favorite part by far was the Old Port. It’s still a working port, so when I arrived around 11am all the old grey-haired fishermen were cleaning their nets and their hulls. Half a dozen women (probably their wives) were selling fresh fish and trying to shoo the seagulls away. The place smelled like seawater and fish and it made me feel at home. Not to mention how beautiful it is.

I really enjoyed France and I would love to come back to Provence during lavender season. 🙂

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This entry was posted on March 22, 2013 by in Food, France, Funny, Language, Photos, Travel, UNESCO and tagged , , , , , , .

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