Our last two days on the route were hot but stunningly beautiful. Yesterday we passed through Saint-Rémy-de Provence. Even though no Van Gogh paintings remained in Provence, many were painted near Saint-Rémy and Arles. The route is now an Art pilgrimage passing many signs that indicate which paintings were created at a particular location.  I still am so moved by Van Gogh’s art snd his tragic struggle with his mental health. I revisited the grounds of the hospital where he spent his last days. The pine and olive trees still growing with the Rocky Alpilles in the distance. 

We then climbed up and over the ridge to Les Baux de Province. We stayed here 13 years ago and it is still such an impressive hill town clinging to its limestone formations. 

After spending the night in Fontvielle, we woke up early and went for a walk to see the windmills before setting off on our final short day into Arles. We stopped half way at the Abbaye de Montmajour. We were still following the footsteps of Van Gogh as we explored this amazing 10th century monastery. A contested painting of the Abbaye was finally verified as an authentic Van Gogh a few years ago.

Five kilometres after the Abbaye we walked / cycled into Arles, our destination for this year.  We have covered 2086 kms from Budapest.  We wrestled Grandma Friday into her suitcase and wandered down to the Cathedral of St. Trophime for our final stamp.  We told the suitably impressed church official that we would be back next Spring for the first stamp on the second half of our pilgrimage.  He said he would be waiting.

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