January 1, 2011

May 24| Avignon

Palace des Papes
We stayed two nights in the walled city in Avignon, at the Hotel de l'Angleterre. It was a short walk from the central city. It was affordable, the room shared a large, comfortable terrace with two other rooms, and we were able to store the bikes in their basement, which had elevator access and a walk-in entrance to street level.
Roman stones, relics of a foundation
Reassembling the bike was a challenge. With the rear wheel and derailleur removed, my chain had somehow twisted upon itself, and I couldn’t get it untwisted.  Luckily for me, Addison Tours, a bike touring company, stored their cycles in that basement, and Charlie (I called him St. Charlie) a guide for that company, happened in to arrange a departure, saw my problem, and used his chain tool to fix my chain. We saw St. Charlie and members of that tour group again the next day at Pont du Gard.
Doorway, built into stone, at back of Palace des Papes
Avignon is a beautiful and very old city. It was the end of May and while the city wasn’t jam-packed, there were many visitors, especially around the Place de l’Horloge. It is extremely crowded during the famous summer Festival d’Avignon.There were a few Roman ruins left, such as these stones. Throughout the middle ages Roman buildings were demolished, one could say recycled, for building materials for other houses, and for weapons. The stones were catapaulted at fortresses during sieges. 
Pont St.-Bénezet
The twisting narrow medieval streets behind the Palace des Papes were wonderful to walk around in. From the rear, it is difficult  to tell where the rock stops and the palace begins.
The famous Roman bridge, Pont St.-Bénezet which stood for centuries before being partially destroyed. It isn’t actually wide enough for the circle dances made famous by the French children’s song.

1 comment:

  1. Some really ancient buildings there. I hear updates from my partner who is cycling around in that area.

    And I have a wad of photos to look at of his. Which I will. Enjoy planning your next trip.

    I know it's not the same, but have you been to Quebec City? Velo Quebec has Route Verte bike routes which are great for cyclists. They also offer bike tours.


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