You know what? Traveling can be more exciting than your expectations. That is why we suggest good planning, good guide information, patience and a constant heads up!
Due to inconvenience strikes by the French railway system, our train to France was canceled. Due to our planning we were able to figure this out in advance, go over to the train station the day prior to departure and change our ticket to a train that was not being inconvenienced!
We planned to rent our car in France to avoid drop off fees and this all came together very well, I must say.
The first day of the road we traveled to Arles. Arles has a rich Roman history; it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompei. When Caesar emerged victorious Arles became a hot spot rewarded with substantial Roman architecture. Everyone knows now, Caesar was the winning team until Brutus came a long. (“Et tu, Brute?” from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar.)
The painter Van Gogh also fortified the fame of this town arriving in Arles in February 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Most are familiar with the “Yellow Cafe” reflective of his bright colors and creative interpretations.
For us weary travelers, we had a pleasant dinner near the Arles amphitheater and we called it a night.
The next day we headed for the French Riviera; little did we know we landed right in the middle of the Cannes Film Festival. Huge yachts, massive crowds and the glorious sunshine of the Côte d’Azur. We did not see anyone more famous than our traveling companion, Bill Fuller. No Kardashian’s or notable celebrities as yet. But they were ready; long processions of police vehicles and red carpet!
Moving on down the coast, we found a fabulous spot in Cagnes-sur-Mer. This might be a good time to explain the “we” in our trip. We are traveling with Gerry and Anita Simpson. I went Junior High School with Gerry and High School with Anita. Great traveling partners and it was Anita who found the sweet place in Cagnes-sur-Mer.
The next morning I found myself in dire straights with a cough I had been fighting for quite a while. This is the moment folks; try to imagine explaining how you feel to medical personnel who do not speak English. It can happen!
They took good care of me and put me quickly on the road to recovery. The hospital is never a planned stop but when you need it, do it!
On to Italy.