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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Like Here, Only Different ~ Day 2 Avignon

Today is different from my previous walking trips, I had all day to explore Avignon before a taxi transfer to the next village.

The highlight and heart of Avignon is the Palis des Papes , the Popes Palace.  I booked my ticket weeks ago and made sure I had an audio guide as well.  A well done audio-guide adds so much to visiting a complex historic venue.  The picture below was taken from the bridge.


Just down from the palace is another iconic landmark.  Most likely you know it from a song you know but perhaps don't understand

Sur le Pont d’Avignon
L'on y danse, l'on y danse
Sur le Pont d’Avignon
L'on y danse tous en rond

On the bridge of Avignon
We all dance there, we all dance there
On the bridge of Avignon
We all dance there in a ring

the song goes on to describe the dance.


The original bridge spanning the Rhone was build in the late 1100's and destroyed 40 years later during the Crusades.  The rebuilt bridge of 22 spans was eventually abandoned.  The Rhone floods tended to break down the spans and the four surviving spans date to around 1345.  There is a small chapel, Saint Nicholas, on the second span.  St Nicholas is the patron saint of boatmen.

An iconic photo is possible by crossing the river on a free ferry and walking along the river.  Tis is particularly beautiful during a sunny days sunset.  Unfortunately , I was just not up to the fast crosstown walk last night.

The day started with a typical continental breakfast.  I had until 5pm to explore the town.

The Palis and audio guide was an excellent way to fill the day.  The long history of the Palis eclipses the short history of the Popes residence.  The original Palis was built in only 20 years, a remarkable feat.  During the many 100's years since it has been a garrison, prison and center of city government.

There is, of course typical tourist things like vendors, beggars and street café scene.

Neither my guide nor the hotel recommended any of the cafe or restaurants on the main plaza.  I contented myself with a goat cheese panini and later an apple puff from the bakery on my home street.  I shared the flakey pastery with the pigeons on the neighborhood square.

The carousel I knew about from Google street view.  It was more charming than can be appreciated from that view.  Two tiers and some of the horses were leapers.

Tonight and tomorrow night I am staying in Merindol at la Bastide dou Pastre


A hour in rush hour traffic made a bit happier due to the "taxi" turning out to be a Mercedes Town car.  The hotel is with family and my room has no TV (fine) and a little private courtyard.

The sky has turned cloudy and the air is quite cool.  I met someone today that said temps in lower 20sC later this week.  Best enjoy the cool while I can.


  1. I remember that song. And what a pretty carousel horse! If you get a chance, I have a wonderful nature video up on my blog today. It's called Wild Sweden and I know you would enjoy it.

  2. I too remember that song and learned the French version many years ago.
    Just look at this place! The dates/age of things takes some 'adjusting' to us North Americans.
    great photos, Marti!