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Colors of Provence – Van Gogh’s path in Arles

Van Gogh’s famous cafe in Arles

Today’s adventures started with a complimentary #AMAWaterways walking tour of Arles. Two types were on offer – a general orientation version and one called ”Van Gogh’s footsteps,” which is the one I signed up for. Our guide Nadia took us through narrow alleys and cozy courtyards in search of Van Gogh’s inspirational points. The tour ended at the Fondation Van Gogh which currently hosts it’s special exhibition pairing Laura Owens work with 7 Van Gogh originals. Absolutely fantastic!

Van Gogh’s home in Arles
Fondation Van Gogh
Cozy streets of Arles

The morning was rounded out by a scenic drive along miles of sunflowers 🌻 and French countryside back to our home – AMA Kristina for lunch – #enjoythejourney.

AMA Kristina from the coach
Rene in front of Chateau Rene in Tarascon

Afternoon programs once again, offered choice. That is truly the benefit of a river cruise – lots of choice. Either guests went to a small town and a quarry or they went to the Camarque wilderness preserve in the Rhone delta, or they chose a Tarascon walking tour with chateau. The latter was my choice as the castle is aptly named “Chateau Rene” and I could never forgive myself for not going to see my namesake property. Majestic and simple from the outside, the interior was quite unique.

Fantastic wooden ceilings

Not only did this fortification contain toilets (simple drop holes into the Rhone below), it came with uncommon rooftop terrace and three levels of tall ceilings. Usually castles have one tall floor and then shorter 2nd and third floors. To inspire more folks to visit, the French state combines modern art exhibitions with historical tours. Very clever!

Christian La Croix designed monster Taraque
Designer carpet as art installation

The piece de resistance, so to speak was the reward for climbing 336 steps to the rooftop terrace – incredible views all around. I had “no idea” it was even possible to get on the roof and wow, the views did not disappoint. Join me again tomorrow for more Provence adventures.

Town of Tarascon
Gargoyle with tower and AMA Kristina in the distance

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