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Published: September 21st 2007
Yesterday was another long day of travel to Avignon. We had a lunch stop along the way at the medieval city of Carcassone which was pretty cool. The city walls are still in place and the interior is lined with narrow streets full of cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops. We didn’t have much time to explore but we had a quick look around then ate lunch in a sunny little tree lined square before piling back onto the bus.
We arrived in Avignon “The City of the Popes” in the late afternoon and had a couple of hours to look around the Palace of the Popes which was big, bright and airy, though surprisingly empty. There was virtually no decoration or chattels in place which was a bit disappointing after the Royal Palace in Madrid.
One neat thing about Avignon is that a large section of the city is still walled - the walls are about 4m thick and around 4.3 km long, making the walled section around 150 hectares. The Popes who inhabited the palace during the 1300s were obviously pretty worried about their security.
Another famous landmark is the ‘Pont D’Avignon’ which extends half way across
the river Rhone opposite the palace. The bridge was rebuilt several times but was washed away and eventually left alone. The river that surrounds the city walls is a particularly dazzling shade of blue and the combination of this water and the beautiful trees, city walls and cliffs was absolutely dazzling.
We are now back on the bus, on our way to the French Riveria.
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