I took a day trip to Avignon yesterday. I boarded the train and was in Avignon in no time at all. I found a tourism office pretty quickly and grabbed a map. I tried to find a free museum to duck into, but all of the free museums were mysteriously closed that week for renovations. I wandered around the city wondering what I was going to do for an entire day.
All hope seemed lost, but that’s when Notre Dame showed me the way. I went inside, looked around, and then ended up outside at these beautiful gardens. This garden was: Le Jardin des Doms. It is a very high spot above Avignon and you can see everything from up there, including the Rhône River.* I went down to the river and walked forever trying to find a bridge across. I found a bridge and spent a while walking along the river. It was a very sunny day out.
I think the sun makes me more beautiful. Either that or it makes the boys more likely to confess their undying love… When walking along the river in Avignon, I had many teenage boys (and some older men, as usual) try to woo me. I think my favorite was this one guy who was just completely enamored (or possibly drunk)… “You are so pretty. You are the most beautiful creature…Wait. Please don’t walk away. Do you hear me?”
Yep. Just walk away. The sun does crazy things to people. Oh no. The sun. Darn it. When will I ever learn? I burn very easily in the sun. I brought sunblock with me, but I didn’t bring it to Avignon. I completely forgot. I burnt quicker than a fork in a microwave.
I took a ferry across the river and snapped some good shots of the Pont d’Avignon (made famous by the song, “Sur le Pont d’Avignon”). I checked out some local shops and then went to the Pope’s Palace. Yes, the Pope.
Here’s a bit of history. The Pope didn’t always reside in Rome. For a period of time, the seat of the Catholic Church was in Avignon. I checked out the Pope’s crib and it was pretty cool, although it looked like they were getting for high tourist season so many of the rooms were under construction.
I still had time to spare so I went back to the Pont d’Avignon and actually went inside it. Did you know that the bridge has a chapel on it? It was built because Saint Bénezet was commanded by angels to build it. The bridge is actually called Pont Saint-Bénezet, but everyone calls it Pont d’Avignon.
By this point, I was thoroughly sunburnt. Avignon is a small town completed encased in walls. I had explored the inner walls. I explored a little of the outer walls. I wasn’t sure what else to do, so I ended up going back to the train station a little early, mostly to get out of the sun.
It was a good day. Tiring, but good.
*I first saw the Rhône River in Lyon. I have now seen a portion all five major rivers in France: La Seine (Paris), la Loire (Nantes), le Rhône (Lyon and Avignon), la Garonne (Toulouse) and le Rhin (Strasbourg).