A visit to Arles and the Pont du Gard

A wonderful weekend of activities studying abroad in France

Friday we visited the town of Arles and enjoyed a guided tour of the Roman ruins and the sites where Van Gogh painted. Saturday was a trip to the beautiful island of Poquerolles, one of the “islands of gold.” No cars are allowed on the island, so we arrived by ferry and biked to the pristine beaches. The students loved the clear water and gorgeous views. Sunday we visited Avignon, where the Theater Festival is currently taking place. Because of this, there are street performances on every corner, which made for a lively visit!

We toured the beautiful Palais des Papes and of course walked to the end of the famous Pont d’Avignon which only extends across half of the river. After Avignon we headed to the Pont du Gard and strolled under and cross the ancient aqueduct. We then returned to Aix for a delicious dinner of crepes in a lively square just next to the Cours Mirabeau.

Feeling at home in Aix

Going into our second week in Aix, the students have settled into life here and are gearing up for their week with host families in Hyeres. We will make sure to take advantage of the wonderful sites in Aix before heading to host families to celebrate Bastille Day!

On Monday, students spent a busy afternoon completing a scavenger hunt in the city of Aix with their Language Partners. They had to find out facts about the city and its monuments, take pictures with Aix natives, and bring back brochures from different cultural centers. It was a very close contest, but the prize went to the team of Parker, Annie and Mallory. Felicitations!!

In the evening we attended an experimental concert which paired a string quartet, a flute and electronic music played on a computer together. The concert took place in a beautiful outdoor courtyard in one of Aix’s oldest buildings. The music was an interesting mix, and hearing the wind rustle in the trees above the musicians made it even better.

Our local leader Valerie prepared a delicious cheese tasting for us in a park near the school. We tasted brie, chevre, brebis and several others, including roquefort! With the cheese we enjoyed pain poilane, black cherry jam, lavender honey, and peaches and apricots from the market.

– Marion Phillips, US Leader

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