Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Avignon, France

Actual date of this event: 6-9 May

Avignon was one of the places I was really looking forward to before embarking to the South of France for the week. I heard it was a dream, and pictures I saw of it looked gorgeous. It was a terrific base for our last three nights as we again traveled to other towns and villages each day. However, we spent our first day (Wednesday) in Avignon exploring as much as possible.

After a three hour train journey from Nice, which required a quick switch to get to the central station, we arrived to Avignon around 1:15pm. We immediately noticed the wall surrounding the city, huge gorgeous trees lining the main boulevard, and ... a bunch of old people... seriously, Luke and I seemed to be the youngest tourists in Avignon. After checking into our AirBnB, we decided to get the main attractions out of the way first - the Palais des Papes (Pope's Palace), where we purchased a combined ticket to also visit the Pont Saint-Bénézet (Pont d'Avignon)... more on both of those in this post. The weather was beautiful, so we enjoyed the rest of the day wandering the streets and sitting at cafes in various squares before heading to dinner at La Forchette (recommended by our AirBnB host).

On Thursday we drove around other parts of Provence, on Friday we visited Arles, and on Saturday we checked out Nimes. All to come in several more posts :-)
{above: Pont du Gard}
{above: Buisson}
{above: Arles}
We spent the evenings taking it easy as our week had been pretty busy. We found a great little bar (La Cave des pas Sages) next to the old watermills where locals hung out. We also hiked the stairs up to Rocher de Doms, a plateau that overlooks the Rhone River with a nice view back to the Palais des Papes. One thing we did not get to do was cross over the river to see the city from the other side, but I loved what we did as is.

As stated previously, Avignon was a great base for Provence, and I definitely would not have chosen to stay elsewhere. I was not as impressed with the city itself as I expected to be, but that whole week really spoiled us for travel. I did love the smell of lavender throughout the city, terrific temperatures and sun, the relaxing atmosphere, and most importantly, I learned that my absolute favorite wine is anything from the Côtes du Rhône region.

More from the South of France: IntroNiceAntibesMonacoEze VillageAvignonPope's Palace & Pont d'AvignonPont du GardBuissonSt. RemyLes BauxArlesNîmes

The Rhone River begins in the Swiss Alps and travels for 505 miles (813km) before it reaches the Mediterranean Sea. It has one of the strongest currents, traveling up to 6mph.

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