Arles is sure a nice change from all my previous stops. It's a lot smaller and has much fewer people, both locals and tourists. There is definitely a small town feel around here.
I began the day with a stop by the Tourist Information (TI) center to pick a up museum/monument pass. From there I immediately put the pass to use with a visit to the Ancient History Museum and then spent the rest of the day visiting most places covered by the pass. The Ancient History Museum visit set the stage for the rest of the day, as it gave me an appreciation for the 2500 years of history in Arles and this area of Provence.
By late afternoon, it was time for a break, so I headed back to the hotel room to get off my feet for a couple hours. Around 8pm I headed out for some dinner. I ended up at a place just up the street from where I was last night. There I meet a couple from Kansas and another from England. The conversation was great and lasted until nearly 11.
Here are a few photos from some of the sites I visited today. Some museums did not allow cameras, so they aren't all covered.
The Ancient History Museum. Just barely visible along the front of the concrete wall in the left of this picture are ruins for the circus. The circus was a 450 meter long and 101 meter wide track for racing chariots in front of 20,000 spectators.
This is a model of Arles around 150 AD. Clearly visible are the amphitheatre, the theatre, and the circus in the top left of the picture.
A model of the amphitheatre in its glory days. Note the retractable roof.
Just an interesting van.
The remains of the Roman Public Baths of Arles. It's in the area along the river Rhone that was heavily damaged by Allied bombers during WWII, so I suspect a lot of its destruction was a result of that bombing.
The restaurant made famous by a Vincent van Gogh painting.
St. Trohpime Church and Cloisters.
A few close ups of the theatre ruins.
I saw a few of these little guys running around today and some last week in Toledo.
Views from the north tower on the amphitheatre.
A view from inside of the amphitheatre of the restaurant I ate at last night.
A view of the inside of the eastern half of the amphitheatre showing a bit of its decay. I learnt at dinner this evening that the western portion of the amphitheatre was partially restored recently to show what the amphitheatre looked like in its glory days. The eastern portion will be left as is to preserve as much of the original construction as possible. I don't believe I mentioned before that the amphitheatre was built around 90 AD, that's nearly 2000 years ago!
During the medieval times and up to the early 1800s, the amphitheatre was a fortified town with nearly 200 house inside. The 2 bricked up arches and the towers are artifacts of that era.
The is a view of the east bank of the Rhone. My hotel is about a third of the way from the left of the picture, one block in from the river.