Saturday, 28 June 2008

Provence - Avignon

While just about everyone we met during our stay in Provence was kind and friendly, we had our only real altercation of the trip with the owner of the hotel when we were checking out, demanding that we hand over some sort of certificate that we were meant to print out from our internet booking. Anyway that was as bad as it got, and it was certainly the exception, proving the whole 'rude French' a bit of a myth in our minds.

We then started the day on a fruitless (no pun intended) search for some craft markets that were meant to be just outside the city walls, to find only a fruit and vegetable market - where Linda still managed to find a skirt to buy. We had better luck as we came back through Les Halles which contained row upon row of delicious foods of all kinds (not to mention it was air conditioned; not a minor attribute on such hot days).

We backed this up with some more gelato later in the day, and found a fantastic café in the gardens near a church where they had a spray system set up under the awnings to keep everyone cool. We were content with a salad by this point.

We then did a proper tour through the Palais des Papes, which was quite interesting, although I kept getting told off for trying to take photos and it is anyway such a huge building it is a little overwhelming to try and take in (you can only listen to so many audio commentaries before fatigue sets in).

We then took ourselves out onto the Pont d'Avignon. More audio guides. Actually, it was interesting to find out more about the history of the bridge and the associated song. Finally we walked up to the park above the Palais des Papes for a picnic and to see the view from above Avignon.

Eventually it was time to take our leave of Avignon and make the trip to Saignon where we would be staying the rest of our time in Provence. We picked up the car and navigated our way out of the narrow streets of Avignon and onto the road into the Luberon.

All my photos from Avignon are here.


The Swan said...

Avignon - is the Koala Bar still there? I have (not so) fond memories of that place - hiding from sleazy French men with octopus hands...the flasher by the bridge (did I mention it was sleazy?)...the bedbugs. Ahhh...good times;)
No, really they were. In a quintessential backpacker-kinda-way. Not that I ever want to do it again, mind you.

Mark said...

Hmm, it sounds like you may have had a different experience from ours.
It's true though, there's nothing like being a backpacker (and being young enough to put up with it).