Monday, July 28, 2014
Last day in France – the morning is bittersweet. We have had an absolutely fantastic trip and I don’t want it to end. However, I DO want to get back to Barcelona to greet Rich when he arrives tomorrow night. That thought eases my suffering a bit.
Our flight does not leave until early evening so we have all day to mess around. We think we will try and hit up Avignon. Don’t really know what is there, but could be something interesting. Also, we are certain to find a place for lunch there (and really, that will be the most important part of the day). Another nice garden breakfast is served and we leisurly dine and then pack. A big thank you goes out to Charles and Andree for their wonderful hospitality. We have felt very comfortable and cared for at Mas du Clos de L’Escarrat and I hope to return with Rich someday.
Off to Avignon. We are sort of learning our way around (at least Dario and Janel are), but these French roads can be tricky. On a whim, Dario suggests that we try to breeze through Chateauneuf-de-Pape one more time for a quick visit to Vin Chocolat & Compagne where we had our chocolate/wine tasting. He wants to pick up some chocolate to bring back. Now, if we can just find the place…
Well, at least one of the navigators was correct:
After Dario got his chocolate fix we set our course for Avignon and zoomed away through the countryside. We found ourselves smack in the middle of the walls of the city and veered off into a parking garage. When we completed the elevator ride up and then the steps we were all surprised at what greeted us on top.
Wow. What a stunner and so unexpected. Here we thought we were going to wander aimlessly around Avignon and then this magnificent beast appears before our very eyes. I guess we are set for the next hour or so. Palais des Papes in Avignon was the Papal residence during parts of the 14th century when the Papal seat was in France. Each time a new Pope was seated, he added on and made improvements to the palace.
This place is huge and pretty darn cool. It is a great place to wander in and out of the rooms thinking what it must have been like centuries ago.
So much wandering makes us hungry so Janel and Dario check their smartphones to find a good place for lunch. They settle on L’Epicerie restaurant right in front of the beautiful Church of St Pierre.
It is perfect weather today and we choose to sit outside under one of the umbrellas. The menu looks great and is obviously made for sharing. We order three different “platters” of “pickings” to share. Oh, and what we think might be our last bottle of French Rose.
Everything was especially fresh and delicious – just what we wanted. What a great choice for our last lunch in Provence. We finished our meal with coffee all around and then decided we had enough time to see another important landmark in Avignon – the Pont du Avignon. Pont Saint-Bénézet (or Pont du Avignon) is a famous Medieval bridge spanning the Rhone River. It was built from 1177-85 and has collapsed several times due to flooding of the Rhone.
There is a song about this bridge that all French children (and apparently all students of French language) learn. Dario starts singing it as we walk on the bridge: Sur la Pont d’Avignon song. Please click on the link – this song has been in my head ever since Dario sang it. I would like for others to share in my suffering! We can hear other children and adults singing it as we stroll along.
I am consistently reminded that France is for lovers:
The flight back to Barcelona is delayed (naturally) and we are tired. It is raining when we arrive back in the city and we have some maneuvering to do. I have to find and move in to a new apartment and also must collect my leftover baggage from Janel’s place. We are all tired and very, very hungry but do what must be done.
There are not many restaurants open on Monday night at this time (10:30pm), but we actually find a good Lebanese place and have a great meal. No pics – too tired! I am walked back to my new digs. Exploration will begin again tomorrow and Rich arrives tomorrow night. A new chapter will commence for the STFD gang.