Friday, September 5, 2014
05.09.2014 - 06.09.2014
Today was Avignon day and it’s quite near so we weren’t rushed. We tried our new cereal and it’s okay but we like Fit (by Nestle) better. Drove to Avignon and with a few wrong turns found the free parking on Île de Piot. They are doing major construction so getting in was quite a feat but we parked and caught the free shuttle to the Old Town. I've never figured out why people pay for parking in Avignon when they can park on the island for free and take a free shuttle across the bridge to the Old Town.
We found our way past the souvenir shops to the Palace of the Popes where we paid and entered. A lot more was open than the last trip . . . fourteen years ago! We spent the entire morning climbing all over the palace from top to bottom. A lot more palace is open than last time too. There was another weird art exhibit but not as intrusive as the one fourteen years ago that covered up everything we really wanted to see. [Palais des Papes, http://www.palais-des-papes.com/en]
We left the Palace and headed to Place de l’Horloge to find a restaurant. Checked menus at several places on the way and they were either Middle Eastern or heavily weighted to hamburgers, an alarming trend we’ve noticed on this trip and the last trip in June. We settled on Citron Vert and the 15 euro menu. Ed started with the crudité and the rest of us got the hot goat cheese salad. Ed and I got the porc roti in mustard sauce for a main; Jean got ham and tagliatelle while Peg got the daube. For dessert Ed got the crème brulée; Peg got chocolate mousse; Jean got chocolate ice cream and I got chocolate and coffee ice cream. It was fine and we enjoyed it, but any of the restaurants would have sufficed. The entire area is dedicated to tourists and these are tourist restaurants. However, they are very convenient and the food is good. [Citron Vert, 10 Place de l’Horloge, 84000 Avignon; +33 (0)4 9086-0409]
After lunch we followed one of Ed’s Avignon Walks cards to the Halles Market only to find it closed on Friday afternoon. We should have known; most markets close up at noon. We continued on to rue des Teinturiers to find the water wheels. It was not the most charming walk through rather dirty, graffiti-covered streets. One of the water wheels was behind a recycle box. Not much thought for heritage there! Other water wheels were in slightly more picturesque places including one by a pretty chapel (locked). The walk along the small canal was shaded and pleasant with a few cafes and benches. [Les Halles Market; 18 Place Pie, 84000 Avignon, France; http://www.avignon-tourisme.com/halles-et-marches/~/offres-11-2.html]
Then we walked back to the huge plaza at the Palais des Papes and stopped for Perrier before climbing to the Rocher des Doms where we took photos of the Rhone, the Palace and church, Fort St. André across the river and even of a distant Mt. Ventoux.
Hiked back down and visited a few gift shops then caught the shuttle bus back to the car where we fought rush hour traffic home. Very long day . . .