2012-May-29 - France Trip 2012 - First Day in Avignon (Tuesday)
It is amazing what a little bit of sleep will do to your attitude.

Today Avignon looked to me like a bright, vibrant city just waiting to be explored.

I'm afraid that we are no longer being perfect international citizens.

The other day at Narbonne beach we finally tired of waiters pushing us in to little tables where all we could see was a wall or a steel post.

We finally snapped, got up, and ignoring the waiter's protests went and sat at a table intended for 4 with a decent view of the beach.

The sky did not fall in.

The restaurant was almost empty - so what did it matter.

Today we also became a little more assertive.

We spent half an hour finding a breakfast café that suited us and then finding an area with no smokers.

Shortly after out breakfast arrived, so to did another diner right next to us who proceeded to extract her packet of cigarettes.

Summoning my best french I said "Ne feumez pas si vous plait"

The woman looked stunned, astounded, incredulous.

Her shoulders slumped in to an image of abject depression at the threat of not being able to suck on her gaspers.

She had a brief remonstration with the waiter who suggested a seat a few tables away.

I know we have absolutely no chance of changing the smoking habits of the french but sometimes you just have to have a go.

I hate to think of the incidence of lung cancer here.

Walking down the street, I would say that at any one time, you will see one in ten persons with a cigarette in their hands.

After breakfast we tackled the Pope's Palace.

This is a huge, amazing building.

I have attached a few images below but they do not do the building any justice.

Sadly, much of the heritage has been destroyed during wars, revolutions and military use as barracks.

The custodians are gradually restoring some areas.

I would dearly love to see more of the masonary and statues restored.

Linda kept trying all the locked doors and peeking behind anything that she shouldn't.

I jokingly kept telling her "God will punish you".

Well up on the ramparts she was persistently followed by a bee that eventually stung her.

She was wearing a bright orange top - so maybe the bee thought she was a wasp ?

Anyway - it was a very painful sting and she was still feeling rather sorry for herself when we went to bed at the end of the day.

We had bought a combined ticket that also allowed access on to the bridge of Avignon ("Sur le pont, d'Avignon etc")

This was well worth the money.

They provided an audio commentary device and an interesting exhibition.

There is also information on a 3D archeological database that is under construction which should be excellent when completed..


The Pope's Palace


Linda after being stung by a bee


Linda after being refreshed by a beer


The old city walls seen from Pont D'avignon