Posted by: kdeversblog | September 18, 2019

Another day in paradise

Fran and I worked out an itinerary before we left so we would have a plan for our days in St. Rémy. We alternated active days with more laid back days. However, we want to be flexible and be open to new ideas.

Since we are close to the center of town, we’ve walked a lot each day. We begin each day with a delicious breakfast that Marc and Sarah make for their guests.

Bread and jam, almond pancakes with maple syrup, cheese, meat, fresh squeezed orange juice, tea or coffee, along with lively conversations with the other guests – we know we’re on vacation when breakfast lasts an hour and a half!

Our first full day we took a long walk along the path to the psychiatric clinic where Vincent Van Gogh was treated. He was in the St. Paul Monastery and Hospital from 1889 to 1890. In his 53 days at the hospital Van Gogh completed 143 paintings and over 100 drawings.

Along the path are metal discs in the sidewalk marking the way, as well as plaques showing what the artist painted at various locations. The English translations are helpful and it’s a sign of how quickly change occurs to see that a parking lot full of cars was once a wheat field. Happily we have Van Gogh’s emotive images to give us more than a realistic rendering of the scene. His dashes of colors swirling across the canvas invite us to share his perceptions, wonder, and passion for this amazing place.

After paying at the entrance we walk a short path to the hospital entrance, then into the cool interior of the hospital. The courtyard garden is lovely and well cared for, ringed by arches and pillars.

Inside there is a gift shop and upstairs we see a recreation of Van Gogh’s small room. The painting he did of his room is a much livelier representation of the room that seems cramped and dismal. The rooms where treatments took place seem equally depressing. The photos and descriptions paint a picture of people trying to get well and others trying to help. We noticed that the translation refers to the nuns as nouns. Perhaps an editing job awaits me here!

On the walk back home we were greeted by a ginger cat with a question mark tail. We’ve seen a good number of cats and dogs here, especially adorable small dogs. They are welcomed everywhere, even in restaurants!

Time for a bit of a rest when we get back to our lodging, then another nice meal. Incredibly tender veal with an eggplant side dish. It makes sense to share when we can’t eat a full entree. I find that I need less quantity of food here because the quality is excellent. A good rest and another adventure awaits tomorrow!

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