Saturday, May 12, 2018

May Day in Avignon

After Aix and Luberon, I had learned to reset my expectations for France.  Maybe as a result, I rather like Avignon. In fact, it seems more Italian to me, not because it was the Holy See (central governing body of the entire Roman Catholic Church) in the 1300's, but more because it seems to be living in the shadows of its former splendor.

1. Avignon has all their city wall, over 4 km long!

2. Every other directional sign seems to be pointing to a theater.  Their summer theater festival must be some event.

3. The Avignon Papal Palace is impressive in size. The tumultuous history has left it barren, but the museum does a good job with the exhibits. I found it rather poignant -- the changing fortunes of places.

4. Even though we are in town over the May Day holiday, the place is not overrun with tourists; with healthy number of tourists, French and international, alternating between lively and atmospheric.

Arriving in Avignon by non-TGV train or bus, you'll first see the city wall, town gates, and the construction of the new tram line.
Avignon, France

Oh, and if you arrive on the tourist train.....uh....
Avignon, France

Our first evening in Avignon we walked up to the viewpoint above the Palace of the Popes to admire the Rhone River below and the famous Pont du Avignon (at left). That's an island in the Rhone, not the far bank.
Avignon, France

Our apartment is near les Halles d'Avignon, the indoor market, and we buy some tomatoes there.
Avignon, France

Most of the City Museums are free. We were introduced the painter Joseph Vernet(1714-1789) from Avignon.
Avignon, France

The local Lapidary Museum was very good.
Avignon, France

Our apartment was also close to the Palace of the Popes so we found ourselves walking to that area quite often; here, one night.
Avignon, France

And a later evening shot of the Pont.
Rhone Rive view - Avignon, France

We were also right around the corner from the Synagogue and walked by it all.the.time.
Synagogue - Avignon, France

There was a union parade on May Day, a national holiday in France; their Labor Day.
May 1st - Avignon, France

We started a self-guided city walk, but it was interrupted by rain.
Avignon, France

Avignon, France

View from our apartment window.
Avignon, France

So after lunch we visited the Palace of the Popes. Barren, as Sun-Ling said, but nonetheless pretty cool. It's a bunch of connected stone towers with some tremendously large rooms inside.
Palais des Papes - Avignon, France

Palais des Papes - Avignon, France

The Pope, the head of the Catholic church Pope, lived here for about 100 years, so the treasury was large and secure. Here's one of many money boxes.
Palais des Papes - Avignon, France

This is the Banquet Hall. The Pope plus all the top apparatus of the Catholic Church lived here.
Palais des Papes - Avignon, France

The Palace Chapel is bigger than the town Cathedral.
Palais des Papes - Avignon, France

Here is the Pope's Tower - his apartments and such. It's under renovation.
Palais des Papes - Avignon, France

Some awesome views from the Palace towers.
Palais des Papes - Avignon, France

Palais des Papes - Avignon, France

And finally the Audience Hall. Has that guy found an Energy Spot?
Palais des Papes - Avignon, France

We then visit the Pont Du Avignon. Drawbridge.
Pont d'Avignon - Avignon, France

Looking back from the bridge to the Cathedral.
Pont d'Avignon - Avignon, France

Pont d'Avignon - Avignon, France

We walked across a modern bridge to get a view back to Old Avignon and ran into an Ultimate Frisbee game.
Ultimate - near Pont d'Avignon - Avignon, France

View back to the famous bridge (which no longer crosses the Rhone) and the Palace of the Popes and the Cathedral.
Pont d'Avignon - Avignon, France

Avignon, France

Pont d'Avignon - Avignon, France

Looking down river we see a river cruise boat or three.
Avignon, France

We finish our walking tour which encircled the area around our apartment. Here are some scenes.
Avignon, France

Avignon, France

Avignon, France

Avignon, France

Avignon, France

Once again an iron belfry.
Avignon, France

Avignon, France

Avignon, France

The City Archives building with very cool 360 pano of Avignon.
Avignon, France

One of the many theaters in town.
Avignon, France

Avignon, France

No comments: