I thought I should come back at least once more about my trip to the sun some short (too long) time ago.
Just south of Arles, between the two arms of the Rhône, you will find the Camargue, Western Europe’s largest delta land. You will find a mixture of lagoons (“étangs”), marshland and cultivated land.
Some 400 species of birds have their home here and it’s one of the few European habitats for the greater flamingo. Camargue is also famous for its bulls, white horses, rice, vine, salt and… mosquitoes (the birds must have something to eat). The famous white Camarguais horses are used by the local “cowboys” (“gardians”), breeding fighting bulls, used for corridas in Spain and in France. Bull fighting, Spanish style, are common in southern France and are big events often taking place in the old Roman arenas. In the immediate neighbourhood, the spring “ferias” with several days of corridas at Nîmes and Arles are highly popular. On the coast line you will find the small town of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, with magnificent beaches and a lot of summer visitors. It’s also the site of an annual gipsy pilgrimage (May 24) for the veneration of Saint Sarah. It’s unclear who she really was, but the best known legend seems to be that Sarah was an Egyptian black maid of Marie Jacobe, sister of Virgin Mary, and Marie Salome, mother of the Apostles James and John. After the Crucifixion, Marie Jacobe and Marie Salome, accompanied by Lazarus, Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea (carrying the Holy Grail), some others… and Sarah, fled from the Holy Land and their boat landed at Saintes-Maries. You can find the statues of two Mary’s and Sarah in the local church. Van Gogh also made a short visit here in 1888 and painted some boats on the beach and some houses in the village.
The photos from this patchwork - and some others - can be found on my other blog "Peter - photos".