This weekend, the CEA group drove three and a half hours to the region of Provence, where Kristin (our program lead) made the best of the two short days we had. That woman is a superhuman, let me tell ya.
Our first stop was Arles. First thing off the bus, we went to see the Roman Theatre. If you watched Disney Channel as a kid, you know what I mean when I say the Lizzie McGuire vibes were heavy here. The ruins of the columns were amazing to look at. Imagine what it looked like so long ago! This little town has a sense of Spanish culture, and my favorite part as we were leaving, was a woman singing and playing the guitar.
Our next stop was the Arles Arena, where the architecture and craftsmanship was stunning. The thought put into constructing these buildings and structures so long ago is almost unfathomable, as modern technology gets us through the day easily without thinking about the way buildings are built.
A short bus ride later, we arrived at Les Baux-de-Provence, the ruins of a small 12th century town overlooking some of the most stunning views of the Provence vineyard countryside. We got to roam through the village and pretend we were locals for a little bit, pure bliss for a couple of hours. The weather was perfect too, sunny with a slight breeze on the top of a hill—exactly where we all needed to be in that moment.
We stopped quickly at the Pont du Gard, the tallest aqueduct of all Roman aqueducts. The views from the bridge made me want to whip out my watercolors right then and there and just paint what I saw. From there we hopped over to Avignon, where our hotel was located… right across from the stunning Popes Palace, or Palais des Papes. We got to tour the palace the next morning and the frescos painted on the interior walls really tell the stories of what people lived through when the palace was active. I could roam through old cathedrals and palaces for days on end, I just love the history and feeling of being in a place where so much was done to cultivate humanity.
Perhaps one of the most interesting and beautiful natural places I have ever been to, Les Sentier des Ocres, was our next destination. The giant Ocre rocks were located in a small town called Roussillon, a colorful hilltop village that some would only dream of coming to. We stopped along the way home at some beautiful viewpoints, and I left the region of Provence feeling full of happiness that this is where I am right now (despite the beginning of my struggle with tonsillitis). This place we get to not only live in, but thrive in, and it keeps me on my toes constantly realizing how amazing life truly is.
Evelyn Little is the Fall 2018 CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France, and is currently studying at Washington State University.