Posted on 11/30/2019 at 10:10pm
Arriving at the entrance, my long skirt brushed against the lavender plants blooming on both sides of the renovated ancient stone maison where our group of Adventure-Artists was staying this past summer in the South of France. The fragrance filled the morning air as I paused to enjoy it for a moment, and gazed at the beauty that surrounded me. In the distance, there was a brilliant green field where majestic looking horses with short trimmed manes and tails that were grazing in the morning sun. Heavily-pruned gnarly mulberry trees provided a thick cover of shade in the cobblestone courtyard where our breakfast and dinner were served each day. The buildings here were constructed over 300 years ago, and a type of primitive sundial mounted high up on one of the buildings, spoke of the days long ago when time was not digital. That evening from the courtyard, I looked up at the full moon and shouted and pointed up to show anyone around me, “Look! An eclipse of the moon!” A woman with a French accent said to me, “That is just a cloud.” but I kept watching as slowly the moon gradually was covered by over one half. Hours later it slowly went away, the partial eclipse of the moon had welcomed us to France!

A narrow two-lane road that is lined with mature Sycamore trees shades the full length of the road, creating a lovely tunnel-like effect as we drove into the city of Arles. Roman buildings, are throughout the city in stages of decay, and also are the remains of giant arched tunnels buried deep beneath the city, where the Romans built structures using intricate architecture. All that remains of the coliseum dominates the city of Arles skyline. Narrow cobblestone walkways curve upward and away from the massive structure and meander past tall ancient buildings arriving at a lively central square, where the likes of Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso found inspiration.The bustling area is full of food stalls and sidewalk cafes offering up excellent ethnic food, hot and cold beverages that attract a variety of very interesting local characters. One evening while enjoying a gelato in one of those cafes, there was a man walking behind a man riding a black horse slowly down the crowded street playing the guitar. He strummed the instrument as the horseman invoked the magnificent horse to prance and dance as he made his way around the city square. The horse lifted each hoof high, as he bade it to do, and then in a strange but interesting way, the horse’s hooves clipped and clopped along perfectly in time with the music like castanets. As he rode by, the handsome rider looked down at me and smiled, as he bowed his hat he rode past. A magical evening to remember in Arles, France.

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