A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Beausoleil

Arriving in Nice

Lots of construction around the airport


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Vence in Provence

Vence in Provence


Changed planes in Amsterdam, finally landed in Nice and got our bags. Ed’s was the very last one off the plane so Customs was closed and we walked through. Took the shuttle to Terminal 2 and no one was at TT Car so I called them. Thank goodness for my French SIM card. For some reason they had expected us at 10:25 AM even though the contract clearly said 4:25 PM. The Peugeot guy zipped over to check us in and get our leased car. It was great until he turned on the radio and no one could figure out how to turn it off. AAGH!

Gourdon, France

Gourdon, France


We set the GPS for our hotel and left with a blaring radio, no sleep and rush hour traffic. There is a lot of new construction since our last trip and dodging it was not fun, but we found our favorite hotel up near Tourrettes-sur-Loup and they were expecting us. They’ve put in new bathrooms with wonderful showers and we got an ocean view for a garden-view price. Hooray! The girls are arriving the day after tomorrow so we're free to explore until then. After the construction we had to drive through to get here, we will probably explore away from Nice. Supposed to meet friends for coffee in Nice tomorrow; not sure we have the courage to deal with the traffic again while still jet lagged . . .

Market in Vence, France

Market in Vence, France


Settled into Hotel Les Belles Terrasses with their Haitian paintings and carvings and their wonderful, friendly parrot. We zipped down to their restaurant to eat dinner. Had a marvelous pork dinner and went to bed. Exhausted . . .

Posted by Beausoleil 15:01 Archived in France Comments (0)

Baou de St. Jeannet

Thursday, August 28, 2014


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Baou de St. Jeannet

Baou de St. Jeannet


Slept until nine. We were tired! Showered and got to breakfast a half hour late but she kept a table ready and fed us anyway, bless her heart. Ant hadn’t called or texted by 11 o’clock and he has an Italian phone number I wasn’t sure how to dial so we gave up the idea of meeting him for lunch and honestly, we were completely intimidated by the construction traffic we drove through yesterday getting here from the airport. So, we got in the car first to get gas and then to drive up to St. Jeannet for a view of Baou de St. Jeannet and to visit the cute perched village that is far from Nice traffic.

St. Jeannet above Nice

St. Jeannet above Nice


I got our Garmin GPS working so we used both the car GPS and our Garmin GPS and the car GPS seems to be slightly better. Neither was great. We found St. Jeannet and free parking with steps up into the village. Wandered all over. The mountain dominates all the views from the village. It’s magnificent. The church bell tolled as we stood under it and we both jumped. It’s LOUD!

Rive Dolce Gelato, Vence, France

Rive Dolce Gelato, Vence, France


Back near parking we stopped for a large bottle of San Pellegrino and had no trouble finishing it. I texted Ant and told him we were in St. Jeannet and wouldn’t make it to Nice today. Then we headed back down the mountain to Vence and parked on the edge of town. Walked toward Old Town where a Chinese student who was visiting Vence stopped us and asked directions to the Matisse Chapel. We cheerfully directed her; she thanked us and walked on. Then we later passed a short cut. It was well marked so we hoped she found it. It was hot so we stopped for an ice cream at Rive Dolce beside a fountain. Fun and very good ice cream. There was a dog playing in the fountain. Smart dog . . .

Shop in Old Town Vence, France

Shop in Old Town Vence, France


Walked on to the Vieux Village (Old Town) and explored. It has really been improved since 2008 and looks very prosperous. We visited a special exhibit at the Cathedral, noted the Chagall mosaic is larger than I remembered and wandered on. Found some beautiful kitchen towels in a linen shop.

Old Town Vence, France

Old Town Vence, France


On the way back to the car, we stopped at a pharmacy where we got mosquito repellent, hydrogen peroxide and low-dose aspirin. Thence to Monoprix to get deodorant which I also forgot. I think we’re ready for this trip. Back to the hotel and we’ll eat here again tonight.

Posted by Beausoleil 11:57 Archived in France Comments (0)

Tourrettes-sur-Loup, St. Paul and Vence

Friday, August 29, 2014, The girls arrive!

St. Paul in the distance

St. Paul in the distance


Got the day off to an exciting start with a hotel fire alarm. We smelled smoke so grabbed clothes, passports, phone and tablet and went downstairs to discover no other guests had evacuated, and the owners opening windows to let out the smoke. The toaster really toasted some bread! Emergency over, we returned to our room.

Roundabout on the Route de Cagnes

Roundabout on the Route de Cagnes


Last night Jean texted they were boarding their flight at SFO. Two hours later she texted they were still at SFO and might not make their very close connection in Montreal. We went to bed. At 2:25 AM she texted they were holding the plane for them in Montreal so we’re planning to pick them up this morning in Nice. I’m following their flight online and it’s been moved from 10:25 AM to 11:05 AM but that’s pretty good. Fingers crossed! We wait . . . Last word was their flight was supposed to land at 11:15 so we headed for the Nice airport. The GPS took us through Cagnes-sur-Mer and in by back roads that were traffic clogged. We finally made it to Parking 2 and left the car to sprint over to Terminal 1. Naturally Arrivals were at the opposite end of the terminal! We sprinted for Arrivals and found them as Peg was dialing my phone number. Hooray!

Restaurant Le Medieval

Restaurant Le Medieval


Girls in tow, we found the car and fought our way out of Nice. Stopped at the hotel so Jean & Peg could check in. Then we piled into the car and drove to Tourrettes-sur-Loup where we got the last parking place. We walked into Old Town and found our favorite restaurant, Le Medieval where we settled in for lunch. It was the perfect day so we sat outside on his terrace with a gorgeous view. Everyone but me got the 20 euro menu; I got the 25 euro menu. Ed & Jean started with melon and ham sec and Peg got the tomato-mozzarella salad. I got a terrine lapin (rabbit) en salade. All of them got salmon and I got the lamb brochettes. There were three vegetables, stuffed tomato Provençal, stuffed zucchini and a baked potato with cheese. Ed got a crème brulée for dessert; Peg & Jean the rhubarb custard tart and I got a Valrhona chocolate mousse. Everything was excellent and our server was great fun.

St. Paul de Vence laverie, fountain and Restaurant La Fontaine

St. Paul de Vence laverie, fountain and Restaurant La Fontaine

After lunch, we thoroughly explored Tourrettes-sur-Loup which we love, and then drove back to the hotel. Rested a bit and headed to St. Paul-de-Vence and walked into the Old Town. Of course we had to stop at the Fragonard Perfumerie and then started through a very well-touristed village. Peg got a scarf. Ed & I got four napkins and then we found the dried flowers embedded in paper that we got years ago and that have faded so we replaced them. Souvenir shopping is always great fun. We wandered all over town, visited galleries, climbed the ramparts and even managed to get lost once.

Saint Paul AKA St. Paul de Vence

Saint Paul AKA St. Paul de Vence


We had parked near the Maeght Foundation and there were five Rolls Royces parked by the gallery at the parking lot when we returned. Very impressive. It was too late to visit the Maeght, so we'll save that for a future trip. Ed & I have seen it a few times but the girls haven't visited it yet. Some day . . .

Shop in Tourrettes-sur-Loup

Shop in Tourrettes-sur-Loup


We drove back to the hotel and had a celebratory kir before sending Jean and Peg off for some much-needed sleep. Hopefully no fire alarm in the morning . . .

Posted by Beausoleil 13:34 Comments (0)

Heading west to our gite

Saturday, August 30, 2014


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Waterfall between Tourrettes-sur-Loup and Grasse

Waterfall between Tourrettes-sur-Loup and Grasse

Hooray . . . no fire alarm. We slept ‘til breakfast and all met downstairs where a table for four was waiting by the parrot cage. As we were finishing, Madame came over and pinched an end from Peg’s leftover croissant. Peg wasn’t sure what was happening but Madame motioned her over to the parrot cage and had Peg give the parrot the croissant. We all enjoyed it although the parrot probably enjoyed it the most. He obviously loves his croissants as only a French parrot can.

Mollinard Perfumerie

Mollinard Perfumerie


We packed up and checked out and allowed our GPS to take us to Grasse, a beautiful drive. Tricky but we found Mollinard and got parked. Went in and asked about the perfume-making workshops. Peg signed up for the full hour and Jean signed herself and me up for the half hour workshop. We window shopped until our instructor arrived.

Molinard Perfumerie in Grasse

Molinard Perfumerie in Grasse


Ed retreated outside and Jean, Peg and I followed our instructor into the perfume workshop where she explained the process. Jean and I had limited options which was good. We each picked our base note and ended up each choosing only one top note so we quickly made our perfumes and resorted to kibitzing in Peg’s process. She had 90 choices so it was very interesting and lots of fun. Eventually, all three of us ended up with our very own perfume. Peg's recipe goes on record and she can reorder any time online. If you want to keep your perfume, you need to take the longer workshop. Believe me, mine was not worth keeping except as a memento.

La Brasserie Dracenoise in Draguignan

La Brasserie Dracenoise in Draguignan


We left Grasse and foolishly decided on the GPS again. Instead of sending us down to the AutoRoute and west, it took us cross country on scenic but very slow roads. We stopped in Draguignan at La Brasserie Dracenoise for lunch, a pleasant porc roti and spaghetti with a Provençal tomato. The waitress was a bit odd but the food was fine.

Fruit for sale as we approach Sénas

Fruit for sale as we approach Sénas


Drove and drove on back roads and by Sénas I had to call our gite hosts to tell them we’d be late. When we got in the area, we couldn’t find the gite. Finally got it all together and found the place. Whew . . . We met our gite owners, took a tour and moved in. Drove into Mollégès to check the town . . . small but pleasant and managed to find the gite again. Need sleep!

Posted by Beausoleil 21:00 Archived in France Comments (0)

A quiet Sunday visiting Eygalières and Chapel St. Sixte

August 31, 2014


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Chapel of St. Sixte - Eygalières

Chapel of St. Sixte - Eygalières

Woke and all managed to shower without problems. We had ghosts slamming doors last night so no one got much sleep. Drove to Gare de Mollégès for breakfast at their boulangerie and then into Eygalières where we parked and walked up through the vieux village to the closed museum and enjoyed gorgeous views of the Luberon. It’s a beautiful cobblestone village with amazing views. The closed museum is in a 12th century church. [Musée Maurice Pezet in Eygalières, http://www.softseattravel.com/Eygalieres-History.html]

Saint Pierre in Mollégès - Mollégès

Saint Pierre in Mollégès - Mollégès

Drove back to Mollégès to wait for church and the bells finally called us. Had trouble following the service because of a really bad speaker system but we survived. After church, we walked to Utile to get groceries and got everything except cereal. They had a very slim choice. We’ll try later someplace else. Drove home and put things away and headed out for lunch.

Mas du Capoun - Mollégès

Mas du Capoun - Mollégès

We quickly found Mas du Capoun on the D31 into town, parked and entered. Expensive on a Sunday but a great choice. We all got the 37 euro menu (no choice). We were given an amuse bouche of mushroom ravioli with saucisson sec and a pureed vegetable soup that was scrumptious. I got the scallop starter with mashed potatoes and bacon; Jean got a lobster starter and Ed & Peg got a shrimp starter. For a main, Jean & I got the chicken; Ed & Peg got the pork. For dessert we all got the chocolate mousse and it was spectacular. It was an excellent meal and I met the chef because they had a Haitian painting and I asked about it and told them I had played in an orchestra in Haiti for years. It seems the chef/owner’s grandfather was Haitian who studied in Belgium and married a Belgian. Interesting! [Mas de Capoun, 27 ave. de Paluds, 13940 Mollégès; tel +33 (0)4 9026-0712; fax +33 (0)4 9026-0817; www.masducapoun.com; e-mail lemasducapoun@orange.fr]

Sunburned snails - Eygalières

Sunburned snails - Eygalières

After dinner we drove out to Chapel St. Sixte outside of Eygalières where there were a million dried snails fastened to every stalk of grass. From a distance they looked like strange tiny flowers. We walked around the beautiful chapel on a hill and marveled at the lonely beauty of the place. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon driving to the Moulin de Vernègues which has completely changed, very modern and completely lacking in charm. It’s growing like crazy with new building, complete redecorating, new restaurant menu (that did look better!) but not Provençal in feeling at all. It used to be so charming. Progress . . .

Silvacane Abbey - Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Silvacane Abbey - Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur

Then stopped at Charleval and walked around the little village which is growing and modernizing. Moved on to the Abbey at Silvacane and it’s gone slick commercial too with a new, too-small parking lot and a hike to the abbey. We arrived at closing so only got outside photos. It’s all strongly fenced now. Prosperity doesn’t do much for charm.

Our lovely Gite Le Farfadet near Mollégès

Our lovely Gite Le Farfadet near Mollégès

Drove home and checked e-mail and relaxed on our patio with a very nice Côtes du Rhone. Love our gite in the country!

Posted by Beausoleil 12:15 Archived in France Tagged mountains churches villages architecture history scenery trips chapels road Comments (0)

A visit to the Pont du Gard and Uzès

September 1, 2014 (Labor Day in the USA)


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Gite Farfadet near Mollégès

Gite Farfadet near Mollégès

Up bright and early . . . wind was slamming the shutters again. (We discovered our ghosts were shutters blowing in the wind.) It’s even windier today! We had breakfast here and set off for the Pont du Gard and actually didn’t get lost. We did arrive at a different entrance from the last time and the area is much changed. They had just opened one part of the Visitor’s Center in 2000 and now it’s all open and a museum has been added . . . not to mention they’ve paved everything.

Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct

Pont du Gard Roman Aqueduct

We took the requisite photos, walked across the viaduct, visited the gallery with an exhibit of paintings by Jacques Gorde. Then went into the very well-done museum with history of the area and the aqueduct and exhibits of how it was built. We walked back to the restaurant by the abri (cave) for a badly served but adequate lunch with a great view of the Pont du Gard. The convenience and view made up for the service!

Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit et Fenestrelle in Uzès

Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit et Fenestrelle in Uzès

Hiked back, retrieved the car and headed toward Uzès where we found free parking. We walked up to the church, entered and photographed it and thence into Old Town where we visited an artist in her gallery . . . fun! Wandered the Old Town and stopped at a miserable excuse for a tourist office that was no help. It's the first inept tourist office we've encountered in France. Usually they are very friendly and full of great ideas. Ed found a map elsewhere and he also found a John Townsend art exhibit that we absolutely loved. Townsend uses sand and acrylic to create peaceful scenes. We met him and he explained the process to us. It was fascinating and he was a delight.

Place aux Herbes in Uzès

Place aux Herbes in Uzès

We walked around the town which was lovely but the people were not overly friendly. They do have a wonderful central Place shaded by plane trees that seems very popular. Got groceries in Casino and finally found a boulangerie for bread. Home to dinner and sleep . . . we hope! All doors, shutters and windows are secured against the unending wind.

Posted by Beausoleil 14:49 Archived in France Tagged bridges architecture rivers scenery pont pont_du_gard aqueducts Comments (0)

Arles -- art, history, bull fighting

September 2, 2014


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Souvenir/Gift shop on rue Voltaire

Souvenir/Gift shop on rue Voltaire

Up early and had breakfast. Checked tourist brochures in a basket here then packed cameras and set off for a day in Arles. We managed to get there in jig time only stopping for gas and a pretty unsuccessful attempt to clean the windshield . . . no towels at the station. Continued into Arles and quickly found free parking. Love Arles parking; there is always a place. We walked into the Old Town and started exploring. We all wanted to show Peg our favorite things. We stopped in several souvenir shops looking at everything from ceramic crickets to expensive linens but restrained ourselves. Peg did buy a really cute little salt and pepper set. You can only exercise so much restraint . . .

Roman Arena in Arles

Roman Arena in Arles

Found the Roman arena and got photos as we walked around it. Ed got out an Arles walk card and after we took photos of the ancient Roman Theater behind the Coliseum, we started the walk. It took us into the public garden with great views of the Roman Theater and then a neat monument to Van Gogh.

Brasserie des Lys Restaurant

Brasserie des Lys Restaurant

Our walk took us to the peripherique boulevard so we started looking for lunch. We finally settled on Brasserie des Lys with a bull fighting theme. We all got the 19.50 euro menu. Ed got the melon and ham sec starter and the rest of us got the much-loved hot goat cheese salad. For a main, Jean got the bavette (steak); Peg got salmon in parchment and Ed & I got Daube de Taureau (bull stew) . . . all excellent. Ed got crème brulée for dessert and the rest of us got a little cake with chocolate chips and crème Anglais. [Brasserie des Lys, 14 Boulevard des Lices, 13200, Arles; tel. +33 (0)4 9047 4223; https://www.facebook.com/La-Brasserie-Des-Lys-978084125586168/]

Cloisters of Cathedral St. Trophime

Cloisters of Cathedral St. Trophime

We started our walk again and followed our noses into a lavender shop where a very nice lady gave us lots of information but the prices were more than we were willing to pay so we wandered on. We found Place de la Republique and paid to visit the Cloisters of St. Trophime. The cloisters were wonderful but the current photo/art exhibit was a travesty . . . not unusual in French monuments. It is often best to focus on the monument and ignore the exhibits although we've seen a few excellent ones.

Cathedral de St. Trophime

Cathedral de St. Trophime

Moved on to the Cathedral of St. Trophime and took lots of photos . . . tapestries, windows, relics, statues . . . Then we tried to find the folk museum but it was closed for renovations. Started back toward the car planning some shopping on the way. Ed & I got the Van Gogh book that had the Van Gogh walk in Arles in it. Peg had already gotten a cute little ceramic salt and pepper and we were all looking for things. I got a gorgeous white scarf and Peg found a great Van Gogh tote bag. We ended our shopping spree on the square with four bottles of cold Perrier that we immediately consumed. It has been amazingly hot for September.

Jardin d'été in Arles

Jardin d'été in Arles

Our waiter at lunch gave us directions to Monoprix so we walked over and got wine, cheese, including a St. Felicien and a nice melon. We had stopped at a boulanger on the way so had our bread. We're all set for supper tonight.

Arles

Arles

Then the fun began . . . getting out of Arles at rush hour. One wrong turn and we were lost in the cramped, narrow streets with a confused GPS and apparently no way out, doomed to wander the warren of streets in ancient Arles forever . . . We finally followed a truck and managed to get on the road home where we got two loads of laundry done and hung before supper. Hooray . . . clean clothes.

Posted by Beausoleil 20:44 Archived in France Tagged churches art buildings architecture cloisters Comments (0)

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque and Roussillon

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


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Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque

Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque

Up early and checked our laundry. It’s been windy since we arrived; we hung laundry to dry and the wind immediately stopped. Laundry was still damp so we left it on the line and started north to find Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque with its now-shorn lavender fields. The road from Gordes is narrow and winding but one-way and there is adequate parking. Jean treated us all to tickets and we chose the non-guided tour. We ended by supporting the monks gift shop that had a great book selection. Ed & I got four or five books on French kings and history and watercolors; Jean got a chant CD and Peg got lavender essential oil. Fun! [Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque, 84220 Gordes, +33 (0)4 9072-0572; www.senanque.fr]

Restaurant La Treille in Roussillon

Restaurant La Treille in Roussillon

Hopped back in the car and followed a tour bus to Roussillon where we were fortunate enough to find a parking place. We hiked up into town and started looking at menus which seemed heavily weighted to hamburger-loving tourists. (something new to us) We continued on up rue du Four where we found La Treille perched on the side of the road. Great menu du jour and a lovely setting. We all got the menu du jour, a fabulous dried tomato salad, filet mignon of porc with potatoes and a fromage blanc with miel for dessert. We got a very nice red wine from Domaine Verrieres. It was an excellent meal although portions were overly generous, probably also the result of many tourists. [La Treille Restaurant, rue du Four, Roussillon; +33(0)4 9005-6447; https://www.facebook.com/ajentil/]

Roussillon Ochre Quarries

Roussillon Ochre Quarries

Walked up to the viewing table and got pics of Mt. Ventoux. Wandered back down and over to the Ochre Quarries. It has been greatly modernized since our last visit and you do more of a walk through the woods than exploring the ochre hills. They’ve put in wooden walkways, viewing platforms and trail markers. It was nice but too bad we couldn’t see more of the lovely ochre. To give credit, they've put in benches along the way which is very nice as we get older.

Roussillon, a Plus Beau Village of France

Roussillon, a Plus Beau Village of France

Retrieved the car and started home. We missed one turn so had the usual adventure, but arrived in Mollégès fairly quickly. We got a baguette and three religieux at the boulangerie, now open from their vacation. Walked to Utile to find it closed on Wednesdays. Fortunately we have wine and cheese from yesterday. At home we took down our now-dry laundry and our gite owners came by to clean the patios after all the wind. We met MaDemoiselle, their very cute black cat who stayed for dinner and cadged some cheese.

Posted by Beausoleil 14:46 Archived in France Tagged churches villages architecture abbeys roussillon road_trips senanque_abbey plus_beaux_villages Comments (0)

Gordes, the Village of Bories and Goult

Thursday, September 4, 2014


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Chapelle des Penitents Blancs in Gordes

Chapelle des Penitents Blancs in Gordes

Up and out reasonably early. We knew where we were going today since we had passed Gordes yesterday. No problems. We drove directly there and found parking at the foot of town. We walked up the hill toward the château. We visited the very spare sculpture exhibit in the Chapelle des Penitents Blancs and got photos of the outside, then moved on past the immense château through an archway to St. Firmin’s Church carefully noting the various ironworks at the many altars.

St. Firmin Church in Gordes

St. Firmin Church in Gordes

We left the church and headed down the steep and slippery streets to a great viewpoint of the surrounding countryside. Many photos! Walked back up the hill stopping in shops and galleries and finally checking menus. Peg mailed post cards at La Poste and we rested in the shade by the château until noon when the restaurants opened.

Les Cuisines du Château Restaurant in Gordes

Les Cuisines du Château Restaurant in Gordes

We chose Les Cuisines du Château Restaurant and got a nice table on the shadier of the two terraces. Our waitress asked if we preferred French or English and we ended up using both although her English was excellent. We all got the formula du jour of plat and dessert. It was pintade (guinea fowl) with a marvelous ratatouille with raisins. The sauce on the pintade was an excellent mustard sauce. We all loved it. Ed & I got ice cream for dessert because it was a hot day but the girls opted for the “runny” chocolate cake which they both loved. Coffee was excellent and service well done. Excellent meal. [Les Cuisines du Château, Place Genty Pantaly at the foot of the château, 84220 Gordes; tel. +33 (0)4 9072-0131; mobile +33 (0)6 9952-7194; fana2006@orange.fr]

Village of Bories

Village of Bories

Retrieved the car and headed down the hill to the Village of Bories, [+33 (0)4 9072-0348, www.gordes.village.com; gordes@wanadoo.fr], the dry stone huts and houses in use until the mid 19th century. They are made entirely without mortar including the roofs or domes. It is truly a stone village. They have been wonderfully restored and we had great fun climbing around in them reminding each other to watch our heads. People must have been a lot shorter then.

Windmill in Goult

Windmill in Goult

Left the Village of Bories and had a bit more time so decided to explore Goult that I had seen on the Internet and drove to the D900 and east to Lumières where we turned toward Goult. Easily parked in front of the Mairie and walked up the hill into Old Town. It is beautiful and pretty unspoiled. At the top of the hill is an historic windmill and views forever. Took lots of photos and hiked back down into the very neat, clean village. It was hot and we were dry so we stopped at the local café for Perrier and really appreciated it.

Goult, small grocery

Goult, small grocery

We stopped at the local Goult epicerie for groceries and Ed found the Ventoux wine we all love. Great little grocery. We got bread at a boulangerie across from the parking lot and started to wind our way home. We were very careful and had no misturns this time so were home very quickly. Starting to feel at home here . . .

Our patio for picnics

Our patio for picnics

Jean and Peg brought in their dry clothes and we settled on the patio for supper. Good bread, good cheese, good wine and good melon. Great day!

Posted by Beausoleil 15:40 Archived in France Tagged scenery gordes perched_villages village_of_bories goult cobblestone_villages Comments (0)

Avignon - The Palace of Popes and Waterwheels

Friday, September 5, 2014


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Avignon city wall

Avignon city wall

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.

Palais des Papes

Palais des Papes

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]

Place de l'Horloge

Place de l'Horloge

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]

One of many water wheels in Avignon

One of many water wheels in Avignon

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]

Fort St. André from the Rocher des Doms

Fort St. André from the Rocher des Doms

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.

Place du Palais

Place du Palais

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 . . .

Posted by Beausoleil 15:30 Archived in France Tagged avignon Comments (1)

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