Blogs from Avignon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France, Europe

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Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon September 14th 2019

Our brief stop in France. Unfortunately our experience will colour my ‘mood' of our short 2 day stay in the country but alas, with such a large trip there surely has to be a bump in the road! We left San Sebastian quite early, and caught a bus (I must say the bus station located underneath the train station is much bigger) to Biarritz airport in France – an hour away. Biarritz is in French Basque country, and the airport was quite big for a small regional airport. Our destination was Marseille, where our plan was to train to Avignon and make it our base to visit ‘Les Carriers de Lumiers', an old limestone quarry in Les Beax de Provence that has art exhibitions where they project art images on the walls along with composed music ... read more
Avignon by night
Tartine
Palais des Papes

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon July 25th 2019

We did some travelling by car towards a castle that is about 50 k.m away. It was build on top of a mountain and is called Chateau de Baix. A nice trip going through those small French villages that look so nice as you see on TV looking at the Tour de France. It has something friendly about them that gives that special feeling that only those places can give you. We arrived there fairly early but still to late for we could not find a parking place. It was all full and you had to go back down the mountain to find a place. We stopped so we could take some photos from what we could see was just a heap of rubble but that was from a distance. We knew there was ,more to ... read more
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Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon July 18th 2019

We were a few more days in Tarragona,there is lots to see in this lovely place. The Romans in there days spent a lot of time making this a strong basis for their troops to come from or going to Rome. It was a save place for them. You can see this by the many Roman historical sides. We visited a few of them but in the end they all look the same. We found lot of explanations were in French and difficult to figure out what it all meant. It is amazing what those people in their days established. Whole underground tunnels from one side to the other. Some of the places we visited were close by so not that much walking but we had days that 10 kilometers was a small walk. We will ... read more
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Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon April 11th 2019

Wednesday 10thApril Up at ten to six and onto the coach to the station. With 22 people in our group, the luggage was always going to be a bit of a challenge, but we managed. High speed Spanish AVE train along the coast, reaching 300 km/h at times. There was a number of police on the train, walking through a couple of times. They arrested a man and escorted him off in handcuffs at the next stop – maybe he was trying to flee Spain? We had to get off and change onto a local TER train at Nîmes. Overall it was a very pleasant journey. Our hotel in Avignon is in the centre of the old town, opposite the hôtel de ville. Old Avignon is very beautiful, with the narrow, crooked streets crowded with restaurants. ... read more
Palais des Papes
View of Avignon from Palais des Papes
Arène de Nîmes

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon March 28th 2019

So what did I know about Avignon? I could only think of two things: “Sur le Pont D’Avignon, L’on y danse…” and the fact that the Popes moved there for almost 100 years in the 14thcentury (and I had to look that up). Still, it seemed like a good idea to visit this site from Montpellier even though we would be closer when we are in Arles. As we are in Arles only a few days, we booked the train from Montpellier. The walls of Avignon We had recently been to Carcassonne so it was going to take a lot to impress us. There have been walls in Avignon since Roman times. They periodically got torn down and rebuilt further out to increase the size of the protected area. The effectiveness of these walls was questionable. ... read more
Repurposing
14th century walls
One of the two main courtyards

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon September 10th 2018

Day 9 Avignon, that bustling City of 95,000 is on the Rhone and one of the few remaining completely walled cities in France. It is ancient, full of history and full of life. The entire city of Avignon spreads beyond the fortress walls and has almost 95,000 residents. Of those only about 12,000 residents actually live within the walls. It is often referred to as the City of Popes because between 1309 and 1423 during a schism in the Catholic church the Pope vacated Vatican City in fear of his life and moved to Avignon for protection. The Palace du Popes was erected right in the middle of the Avignon is mammoth in size and has its own cathedral. Though the building of most cathedrals alone in Europe took up to 500 years to complete, this ... read more
Avignon Bridge
Avignon Pope's blessing window
Avignon preserved fresco


For the next week we stayed at a beautiful Villa about 45 minutes from Avignon that we shared with 4 other couples/friends from Canada. The Provence area is one of the most scenic and beautiful parts of France and our group took full advantage of many interesting sites the area had to offer. On a couple of nights, we enjoyed private gourmet meals prepared for us at the Villa by local expert Chefs. Needless to say the meal, enhanced by the wine of the region, the country setting of the Villa and being able to share the experince with good friends, were all the ingredients of magical evenings. The facility was fully equipped, therefore, it also gave everyone time to socialize while preparing a few meals on our own. Most of our group have scattered upon ... read more
Dinner at the Villa with our friends
Archaeological site at Glanum
Palais de Popes Avignon

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon September 9th 2017

Oy! Life has a way of taking over and here it is more than a year after my trip to France and I'm finally trying to catch up a bit. I thought I might tell you a little about this trip. I started in Nice, which I loved, and then moved on Arles. That was where I embarked on the boat for the Rhone river cruise. It had a capacity for 43 passengers but there were only 38 in our group.. a nice size. Olivier was our guide and he fit the sterotype of a handsome, charming Frenchman. He made the trip worry free and more than pleasant. I always travel with Grand Circle, a company out of Boston. They are especially cognizant of women travelers and those traveling solo. The Rhone is the only major ... read more
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Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon August 8th 2017

We had heard from many other cruisers that we met that we had to spend a few days in Avignon so that was the plan. A few days turned into 9 days, but this was due to the fact that not only were there a few places to check out in Avignon itself, but it served as a great base for day trips to visit other villages/towns allowing us to learn more about the history of this very interesting area of France. When anyone says “Avignon” the first thing that most people picture in their mind is “the bridge” that is seen in many advertisements for this area of France. What we were surprised to see was a very large palace with a large gold statue of the Virgin Mary on top – we actually could ... read more
A Drawing of  the 22 Arch Avignon Bridge
This Gate House on the Avignon Bridge Built in 1414
View of the River from the Avignon Bridge

Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur » Avignon August 1st 2017

Time to move on from Lyon and head to the next “big destination” of Avignon. That will be considered another milestone as that is the last big stopping point until we get to our destination on the Med to put Tsamaya back together as a sailboat. When based in Lyon we always traveled “north” to the historic area of town, but when you leave on the river and head south you pass by numerous modern buildings and the more industrial section of town. You also see plenty of river cruise ships as this is a popular stopping point as well as Avignon so am sure we will run into many of them again. Our first lock out of Lyon we went through with two other pleasure boats, but once we were through we separated ways based ... read more
On Our Way Out of Lyon We Noted Quite a Few
Waiting for the Door To Fully Open to Exit the Lock
Everywhere You Look Here there are Vineyards




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