Derek's Time-Space Warp

A collection of thoughts and experiences as I explore the universe, warping time and space in my vicinity

France Trip, Day #3

Day #3: Avignon, France

Nice city with a lot of southern French ambience. We stuck to the historic old portion of the city, the walls of which are still very much intact. All of the main roads seem to be built in a wheel-and-spoke pattern leading to the main square where the Pope’s palace is located. The square itself lies at the bottom of a small hill which overlooks the Rhône River. We spent most of the day exploring on foot, loosely following some of the walking tours recommended in Rick Steves’ guidebook. We checked out the Pope’s palace from the 13th century – a visually powerful stone structure with 10 foot thick walls! Next we hiked up to the top of the hill for a view of the Rhône River and Avignon’s famous bridge, the Pont d’Avignon. A chunk of the bridge was knocked out during an ice flood many years back. We ducked into the cathedral as much to cool down as to see the sights – it was getting pretty warm out! Then we wandered up and down random streets until we were all pretty tired, hungry, and footsore. We loaded up on food from a grocery store near our apartment, and then cooked it up for supper. More of the area tomorrow!

The Pope’s palace. The scale of this place is enormous!

A beautiful chapel next to the Pope’s palace

The main square, with the Pope’s palace at left

Fortifications across the Rhône River, to defend against the power-hungry pope

A different kind of fortification….I can get behind this one!

The famous Pont d’Avignon, heavily damaged in an ice flood

Exploring some of the back alleys near the Pope’s palace

Basilique Saint-Pierre (St. Peter’s Basilica). I’m always awed at the amazing details carved into the facades of these old cathedrals.

Basilique Saint-Pierre
By late afternoon the backstreets had mostly cleared out as locals headed indoors for supper. It felt a little odd yet peaceful to wander the town at this hour.

Tiny town squares like this one are all over the place

Typical backstreet scene

Rue des Teinturiers – the Cloth Dyers’ Street

Donald Trump was here? Kidding aside, the ancient city walls (dating from Roman times) run for several kilometers and are an impressive sight.

A bit overdressed, no?
The sun sets behind the University of Avignon

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