Monday, February 4, 2013

Sur le pont d'Avignon

"It is the most beautiful place in my kingdom"
~ King Louis XIV (looking back on Avignon from the bridge)

I made a bit of a mistake when I wrote the last post and said that this next one would be about finding a place in Paris. I meant to write "Avignon," but I think I had Paris on my mind. Oops.

At any rate, when I was trying to decide what to do after Paris but on the way to Italy, I decided that we would go to Provence since we have talked about it for some time.  When I think of Provence, I always envision fields of lavender, charming villages and farms, and great bread.  I wanted a place that was not too big, not too small, on the French rail line, and, of course, had good places to stay.

Enter Avignon.  Occupying the left bank of the Rhone River, Avignon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the few French cities that have preserved the ramparts, historic city center, and many buildings – including the Palais des Papes (The Palace of the Popes).  The city has a university and holds art festivals, the most well-known being The Festival of Avignon. And while it is not a village, its population is under 100,000.

At first I decided that we'd spend three days or so in Avignon, and I wrote a number of people who own and rent out flats there.  I found a number of nice places and was about to book one when I stumbled upon a homeaway ad for a studio close to Palais des Papes in the historic center. It had fantastic reviews, was priced reasonably, and looked very stylish, so I wrote to the owners.  Within a few hours, they returned my email, answered my questions, and, to make a long story short,  we were booked there for an entire week. 

Over the past few months, I've written to Amaury (and Gilles) a number of times, and they've always responded quickly. They've sent me information on the area, on transportation in the area, and just little notes. I feel like I know them already and can't wait to meet them in person which, by the way, will be as soon as we arrive in Avignon as Amaury will pick us up at the train station.  

Amaury apologized to me for his English recently. "HA!" I told him. "You speak great English. I know about 20 word in French."  He promised to help me learn a few more. 

Tre bien. (Side note:  As you probably guessed, the photo above is of the studio in Avignon.  You can see the rest of it by clicking here.)

1 comment:

  1. That looks charming and restful. Sounds as if you will be doing a lot of walking?