The summer is upon us, and many of you will be visiting the south of France over the next couple of months. If you are like me, when you travel you like to get off the tourist trail and discover the less-explored paths and corners. Of course if you try to do this alone, you can end up a tad frustrated and even, dare I say it, lost!
What better way to explore than in the expert hands of a bilingual expat, who is also a history buff, and a gifted writer and photographer.
The lady I have in mind is one Heather Robinson. She writes the blog Lost in Arles, which (while the title may not inspire confidence in those hoping NOT to get lost) is a charming collection of photos and writings that Heather has put together over the past five years as she discovers this beautiful town in Southern France. She also gives her two lovely dogs the occasional mention, which works for me, and many others …
Heather was an actress in Manhattan when she fell in love with a French photographer and decided to follow him back to France. They lived in Paris for a while and stumbled upon Arles while driving through the south of France. She is one of the most generous and knowledgeable girls I know, and discovering the town of Arles with her leading the way is one of the best things I have done. Definitely worth a special trip.
Heather offers private, in depth guided walks for no more than six people. She leads her guests through the old part of the town, and down the quiet side streets where the patina is waiting to be discovered . Arles is a small town, famous for its roman amphitheatres, and soaked in 2000 years of history.
In particular it is known for its horsemen and for the beautiful traditional costumes and head dresses worn by the Arlesian women, who sit behind the mens’ saddles, showing off their slim wastes and pretty lace shawls.
Arles is also the scene for one of the biggest outdoor markets, and if that is something you enjoy, then Heather can incorporate a visit to the market in her tour.
And if that is not enough to impress you , then remember that Arles is the birthplace of the French designer Christian Lacroix, and was home to Van Gogh and to Gaugin for a couple of years.