Thursday, June 23, 2011

More History and Food

On Thursday the ride from Avignon to Arles was across flat farmland. We began to see another signature crop of the Provence region.

A nice tailwind made it easy going. Now that we have a little more experience in France, it seems to us that the French drivers are more patient than the Italians or Greeks. Cycling seems popular, though we haven't seen the big club rides like we saw in Italy nor anything like the hundreds of cyclists on the road every Sunday in Lombardy.
Just inside the gate of the old city center we were greeted by this building with a great mural.

Arles has a long history and some significant monuments from Roman times. The area of Provence was the first provincia that Caesar gave to his troops and that is the origin of it's name. The ancient theatre was built around 100 B.C. And the colosseum in 90 A.D. They have been under restoration and are used for modern entertainments. The colosseum is used for conventional bullfighting as well as Camargue bullfighting which is a style that does not kill the bull.

In Avignon we had searched for a good local restaurant, but had only found tourist restaurants.
In Arles the hotel proprietor gave us the name of several good local restaurants and we had a spectacular meal. It started with a chilled artichoke and garlic mousse. For the first course Dave had an anchovy and potato tart and Belinda had eggplant stuffed with roasted chicken, herbs and lamb sweetbreads.

The main course was braised toreaux (bull meat, not cow or steer) that melted in your mouth.

We finished the meal with goat cheese drizzled with olive oil and creme brûlée, c'est magnifique! Today we start the morning crossing the Rhone river for the third time in 2 days and skirting the great wetland, the Camargue, made by the river.


mas said...

Dave and Belinda,

What a delightful joy it is to travel along with you. The gorges, rivers, buildings, ruins, people, but especially, THE FOOD! Holy cow, you ate some BULL! Your pictures are spectacular, and I love hearing the history and seeing all the glorious places. BRAVO! and Thanks,
love, mas
p.s. I don't post every day, but I sure do watch every day.

Dave and Belinda said...

Thanks Mark, we enjoy sharing via the blog and comments from regulars like you, Diane and others make it particularly gratifying. We realize that we are very fortunate to be able to travel in this delightful mode.