Published: August 17th 2005July 26th 2005
John and I are celebrating 2 years together today and the atmosphere in Avignon is amazing. What a great time to be here. The Festival d'Avignon runs for a whole month every July/August and it's like a gigantic Fringe Festival but....better. There are musician street performers, acting street performers, weird street performers, mute street performers, you name it it's here. There is music constantly in the Place d'Horloge which is right outside our hotel window and music streams into our room until the wee hours of the night. It's very festive and there is a great vibe around the town. Avignon is a great place and we highly recommend it to future Provence travellers. The streets are old, narrow and quaint but there is a great mixture of old and new. It's a beautiful pedestrian town. Cars are allowed but discouraged to the extent that many streets have barriers that "disappear" into the ground if a car is authorized to pass through. It's hard to explain but kinda sneaky and neat.
We bought a CD from a great jazz band who performed earlier today called "La Fanfare en Petard". The title of the CD is "Shake Your Ass" so tell me this place isn't for english-speaking foreigners! That being said I'm feeling a bit isolated today b/c of our limited french. We're getting by ok with the basic stuff but what I miss is talking to people. To me, people make up a great deal of one's experience when away and our language differences are isolating us from that perspective a bit. For instance, during lunch there were many entertainers walking throughout the Place d'Horloge handing out flyers and promoting their plays (french plays, of course so count us out)! They were all dressed in costume and would stop by at tables to humour the diners and passersby. It was really cool but, again, isolating when all the tables around us were laughing and we didn't have a clue at what. It was entertaining nonetheless b/c of their get-ups but I'm sure the experience would have been more complete if we'd had the full picture. John isn't too phased by it but I'm a talker and I've never been so quiet in my life!
We went into the Palais des Papes more out of obligation than interest. We should have gone with our instincts and enjoyed the 14C architecture from outside b/c the tour inside was BORING.
We went "sur la Pont d' Avignon" and it was great! First of all, the bridge is a thousand years old (literally) and viewing Avignon from outside it's Roman walls was a great sight. You feel like you're back in history. It was also cooler (literally) on the bridge than anywhere else today. It was in the mid 30's here.
Bought some absinthe today. John thought we should have some 55% alcohol in our liquour cabinet at home. Beware should any of you come over for a dinner party in the future! I believe absinthe has been proven to be lethal???!!!
Tonight we'll likely have dinner at another sidewalk bistro (life is so hard to take!) and tomorrow morning we're heading into the highly recommended town of St. Remy-de-Provence. There is a market there which we hope to wake up in time for so I can score some reasonably priced foie gras. I am insatiable for that stuff! John is still tormented by how foie gras becomes foie gras but the sweet satin taste wins out over the duck's life for me!
Miss you all!