Saturday, 28 June 2008

Provence - Setting Out

Last Friday we picked up a rental car from Geneva and hit the road to Provence. Our plan was to go in June before the big crowds of July and August hit, and while the weather was warm and the Lavender in bloom.

Somehow we ended up taking the slow roads through the Haute Provence and Luberon all the way to Avignon, where we were staying the first night. While this was frustrating in some respects, it meant we travelled through some spectacular scenery and some interesting towns, including Sisteron, nestled amongst the mountains.

Eventually we arrived in Avignon, somewhat hot and bothered, dumped the car, and wandered through the paved streets to our hotel on the main square of Avignon. After taking some time to check out our room we headed out to take in some of the sights of the town.

We started by walking through our square and on to the Palais des Papes, where the Popes lived in the 14th and 15th centuries. It was mostly empty, except for some fashionable restaurants spilling into the paved square, and some kids playing soccer.

Then we moved on to the Rhône river and the Pont d'Avignon, the broken bridge famous from the French song Sur le Pont d'Avignon (on the bridge of Avignon).

We also took the first of what would be a great many photos of the lavender of Provence before completely running out of energy and seeking out dinner (and somehow finding a delicious gelato shop that we would visit a few more times during our stay).

Still being Euro 2008 time, there was a Turkey match on TV and when ultimately the Turks prevailed, we were treated to honking horns and partying all night. Not that I noticed, having thoroughly passed out from the long day of driving, hot weather, delicious food, and possibly the wine.

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