Day 17 - A Delightful Day in Avignon
It's a beautiful day in Avignon today. After a delicious breakfast of French pancakes with homemade jam, we headed over to the Pope's Palace where the line already stretched down the stone steps.
The Pope's Palace is immense. It was the home of the Roman Catholic Church between 1309-1403 during medieval times when Italy was considered too dangerous. Today there is ongoing restoration work. Many of the rooms have original frescoes on them while others are quite empty with absolutely no furniture in them. Touring this place made me feel as if I was back in college in a history course where I felt lost. I didn't know a place like this existed.
Up on the hill behind the palace is a park that seems to have taken a step back into yesteryear. In addition to a sweeping views of the Rhone River where I noticed a barge carrying new tanker trucks, the park has a duck pond with a little cafe beside it. Most precious though is a gravel track for preschoolers to ride tricycles connected to beautiful tiny wooden horses you guide with reigns. It took some practice for most kids to get the hang of it, but once they did, off they went peddling around the track.
In the late afternoon we took a tourist petite train ride around town. It was amazing to us some of the winding alleyways the train was able to squeeze into. People had to flatten themseleves against a wall for the train to pass by. In one tight alley beside a church the bells began to ring. Looking up I saw the huge iron bells swinging in the bellfry. We were in the perfect spot acoustically to hear them.
Our dinner tonight was at La Vache a Curreaux. It was an adore restaurant set away from the tourist traps in the main square with the We speak English and serveizza signs. Inside the stone building they had French linens in bright colors. The menu was in French so when we were offered an English one we gladly accepted. The only problem was when it was delivered it was a four foot chalkboard that they parked on our table. How embarrassing. I saw a guy aross the street melt into a fit of giggles at the sight. I am not a fan of goat cheese and they had everything goat cheese from salad dressing and sauce to baked goat cheese as an entree! It was a great dinner though. The food was delicious, fresh, and organic.
After dinner we walked around the town. At one stand, girls were lined up in front of soft serve dispensers ready to make cones with the flavors of your choice.
Everyone here looks so happy and relaxed and even at midnight I can still hear the cicadas chirping.