The one where I finally explain what the hell I did in Arles.
15 April, 2009, 11:36 am
Filed under: Lacoste, School, Transit, Uncategorized

So… as I’ve mentioned several times now… the entire campus took a trip to Arles, France last Friday. The big to do in Arles, especially on Easter weekend, is to go to the bull fights. There were several fights happening through out the day, with main event being in the early evening. This gave us several hours to explore the city. Some of us debated on whether or not we were even going to go to the bull fights. Others had already made up their minds that they did not wish to view any of the bull fights. I myself was torn but came to the conclusion that this was something that is a huge part of the culture in Arles that I would probably never have the chance of seeing again. Whether or not I agreed with the public killing of an animal for sport was something I was not entirely sure of. But I felt that I had to see this… to sort of help inform that opinion… to take an educated stance. I don’t agree with many things in the world… but that does not make them not happen (as much I sometimes wish it did.)

At any rate, my friend Allison and I bought tickets for the 5pm main event and then took off to explore the rest of Arles. I met Allison through some of my roommates here in Lacoste and we have the Treasures of Provence/ Art History class together. So, she’s become a good travel companion.
We ate our sack lunch, that school provided for us, in the public square and people watched for a bit. After that we walked pretty much all over the city of Arles. Some of the things we saw were: the old Roman theatre, the place where Van Gogh did some famous painting and took up residence for a while, an old church, the Rhone River, and a few shops (some touristy, some not so touristy.) After that we sat down at a restaurant for dinner and had some amazing paella (with crawfish, mussels, chicken and beef) and a glass of white wine. The food was amazing! I think we would have been content with our visit to Arles ending there, but we still had other matters to attend to.

The bull fights were kind of surreal and boring at the same time. We saw five different fights or “toros” The first round intrigued me, the second clued me in more as to what was going on… but by the fourth toro, things became a little too ritualistic (read:pointless show just to kill an animal in the name of “sport.”) for me. I suppose it’s not too far removed from hunting in the US in that the bulls that are killed are butchered in order to be eaten. I still don’t think I fully comprehend all that I saw and I am trying to keep in mind that these fights are a huge part of the culture in Arles. Although Arles is in France, there was a good amount of Spanish culture (see above mention of dinner) infused in the days events. (Not totally surprising when you realize how close Barcelona is.)

Photos from Arles here.

On Sunday, at one of the cafes here in Lacoste, there was a film showing that was made by SCAD students. The film was of a play about Don Quixote that happened at the Chateau de Sade last year. I left in the middle of it to talk to my lovely wife (whom I miss very much) and apparently right after I left, Pierre Cardin himself showed up. Oh well… next time.

Today, in my Art History class, we traveled to Sénanque Abbey, an old monastery that is still kept up (with some outside help) by a few monks who live there. The architecture was pretty impressive. I missed out on a good portion of the information being given by the tour guide due to my poor comprehension of French. Photos here.

The Graphic Design and Printmaking students (I happen to fall into both of these categories) are going to a paper mill near Fontaine de Vaucluse & Isle sur la Sorgue on Friday. The entire campus leaves for our long weekend in Paris a week from today. That should catch us up. I’ll try to not to slack off so much next time.

Merci beaucoup! Au Revoir!


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