Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Alpilles: St Remy to Les Baux

St Remy has derived all its fame from housing Van Gogh in its mental hospital. The rather unremarkable village is very tidy, not very many visitors - maybe still early in the morning. We then followed the Van Gogh trail to the hospital. Our real aim is the Roman site of Glanum across the street, skippable except for baggers of ancient sites. They do have a spring and a well that are unusual. Actually there are Celtic, Greek, and Roman ruins; each on top of the previous.

Right outside Glanum we caught the GR6 for Les Baux, ignoring half dozen warning signs around town, our usual protocol. Five minutes later, I found out - John neglected to share what he learned on the internet - I had to go down a 20-meter hole, with chains and ladders. Which was quite an excitement! Afterwards, it was smooth sailing. In fact, we saw a few mountain bikers on the trail. It was a beautiful ridge top trail through the Apilles with great views.

Les Baux is yet another famous village that can be taken in from a single viewpoint. Judging by the parking lot, they were having a lot of visitors. If it's entirely up to John, we would only go to the viewpoint, skip the village. Instead, we promenaded around the tiny village with a few hundred other visitors-of-the-minute, for completeness. Then we walked down to the valley to Maussane to catch our bus back to Arles (no bus to Les Baux this time of the year).

A square in Saint Remy. Note the "easel" with the Van Gogh self-portrait.
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France

The Tourist Office sports a Van Gogh easel with Starry Night located in the spot where it was painted.
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France

Near the Hospital Saint-Paul-de-Mausole where Van Gogh was treated for mental illness.
Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France

Between the hospital and the Glanum archaeological site there is a Roman mausoleum and triumphal arch - very cool.
Les Antiques - l’Arc de Triomphe et le Mausolée des Jules -  Saint Rémy de Provence, France

Awesome battle scene relief on the mausoleum.
Mausolée des Jules - Saint Rémy de Provence, France

The Glanum archaeological site, a small but important Roman city, is located in a narrow valley on the north side of the Alpilles.
Roman Archaeological Sight - Glanum, France

Roman Archaeological Sight - Glanum, France

Roman Archaeological Sight - Glanum, France

Peering into the Sacred Spring.
Roman Archaeological Sight - Glanum, France

And a view of Glanum from the hills.
Roman Archaeological Sight - Glanum, France

Roman Archaeological Sight - Glanum, France

Roman Archaeological Sight - Glanum, France

After Glanum we set off on the GR6 to Les Baux, about 7 kms away. But first, the grotto.
Walking from Saint-Remy to Les Baux, France

Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Then an easy, mostly level, walk to Les Baux with amazing views of the Alpilles at every turn, in every direction.
Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Lunch spot view.
Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Looking north to Saint-Remy and it's church spire.
Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

A sliver of the Rhone at far left.
Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

And then Les-Baux and its surrounding quarries and parking lots.
Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Views from Les Baux.
Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Les Baux-de-Provence, France

We get some very good information from the tourist office and walk down to Maussane the back way with great views to Les Baux and the Alpilles; and vineyards and a swanky golf club.
Walking from Les Baux-de-Provence to Maussane-les-Alpilles, France

Walking from Les Baux-de-Provence to Maussane-les-Alpilles, France

Walking from Les Baux-de-Provence to Maussane-les-Alpilles, France

Walking from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence to Les Baux-de-Provence, France

Walking from Les Baux-de-Provence to Maussane-les-Alpilles, France

And a bonus aqueduct.
Manville Aqueduct - near Maussane-les-Alpilles, France

On the bus back to Arles.
On the bus from Maussane-les-Alpilles to Arles, France

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