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Tuesday, June 4: Day 43 – Reusing Roman Ruins

We still struggle with times. On Sunday, some places have free admission. We bought a prepaid all inclusive ticket for local attractions so that purchase was superfluous.

Most places including restaurants are closed on Mondays. However, we went to the archeological museum on Tuesday only to find out that it is closed. We have come to the conclusion that your best odds to have access to anything lies between Wednesday to Saturday.

However, we are not deterred since there were other sites to see. While at the ancient Roman arena, we saw a gladiator demonstration at noon-only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays!!

These Roman ruins are the focal point for field trips. They were teaching the school children how to fight like gladiators. We learned that gladiators were rarely killed in the arena. If killed, the sponsor of the event had to pay a huge price to his promoter for his loss.

When the arena was no longer used, people built their homes inside. I would think that it is better than the security systems that we have today. I would feel safe!

This is lavender country.

I had some lavender ice cream.

It was YUMMY! Move over Pistachio. I may have a new favorite. I wanted to try other artisanal flavors such as violet. So many flavors (so many calories), yet so little time.

We were fortunate to have met a fun-loving couple from Switzerland named Rolph and Flavia. I was especially excited to talk with them as we will soon be in Switzerland and I wanted to get a Swiss book recommendation. They inquired as to what city we would be visiting as the country is so small that they could be specific. Proudly, I had said, “Guggisberg.” No light bulbs went on and they admitted to never knowing about this place. How can this be?? I read about it on a placemat in Ohio and wanted to hear the Alphorns. Rolph said, “You know that we have the Internet now!” Ha.

We went with a tour group to see the highly acclaimed Carrieres de Lumieres in Les Baux de Provence. This location is no longer used as a stone quarry. However, the large former quarry is used as an art space.

Beautiful art is magically projected onto the stones. Each year a different artist is featured. This year is Vincent Van Gogh. There are a lot of videos on YouTube but here is a smattering of what we saw. Truly indescribable, as a picture is worth a thousand words.

The ancient Roman Theatre in Arles was the venue for a dance recital that started at dark. I have sat through my share of dance recitals and am pleased that it was interesting:

  • There was a DJ on the stage in the corner who kept things lively.
  • There were street performers who did some popping, locking and head spins.
  • There was a competition between the audience and the performers. It was similar to the chant “We’ve got spirit, yes we do, we’ve got spirit, how about you?”
  • When the act was over, the DJ blew the air horn that you hear at sporting events.
  • There was a singer with provocative dancers much like an MTV video.
  • It had an international flair with a jitterbug dance to “Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog!”

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