By GERRY BARKER
Photos by Gerry Barker
We are in Arles, France, where our 8-day “Colors of Provence” wine cruise on the AmaKristina begins. Included in our AmaWaterways cruise are daily excursions, tailored from “:gentle,” “regular” or “active” for their guests. In many cases, our ship is parked near the heart of the Rhone River cities we’ll visit. All we have to do is grab a free container of water and step off the ship. It’s just one of the many reasons European river cruising is such a good value.
Arles (pronounced “aarlz” — I couldn’t never master the hard “r”), a coastal town in the South of France, is geographically the largest city in France — seven times the size of Paris, but with a population of only 50,000. It has a long history, dating back to 800 BC, and become a key city of the Roman Empire in 123 BC. But much of its fame today is tied to artist Vincent Van Gogh, who lived here in 1888-1889 — two of the most prolific and eventful years of his life.
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