mercredi 30 mai 2007
Friday evening we got out of Marseille as soon as possible (which was about 7 pm) and drove to his parent’s house. His mother fixed a nice meal and a cake, but the nougat biscuit that I had saved especially was terrible. I guess they just don’t save well. Oh well. Will just have to order a cake or piece montee for every anniversary.
I also managed to grab the wrong bottle from the refrigerator, so instead of champagne we had Blanc de Blancs, which in my opinion did not taste very good. I guess we will have to save the champagne for Christmas now.

Saturday morning we woke up and drove to Avignon, which is not very far by autoroute. We managed to find our hotel without too much trouble considering the narrow one-way streets. I had found and reserved the hotel over the internet. We parked outside the ramparts, where apparently everyone parks and nobody pays. We left our luggage (one overnight bag and our jackets) at the hotel desk as it was too early to check into our room, and went exploring. We walked around for awhile, then went back and checked in to the room. It was a tiny room, with just about enough space for the bed and tiny little bathroom. In high tourist season and being in the center of the city, you can’t expect the Hilton. Besides, I would rather pay for a small room in the center of the city (and be within walking distance to everything) than be in a bigger (American sized) hotel room and have to take the car in to visit and go out to eat (plus it is much more difficult to roll home after a big dinner when you have to drive. And by ROLL I mean because of eating too much, not necessarily because of drinking too much.)

The hotel manager was very nice, it is a good location, not too expensive (62 € plus breakfast for two included), and I recommend it. We went to a restaurant in front of the main entrance to the Palais des Papes. We sat outside, which was agreeable until the wind picked up. The servers finally had to take down all the umbrellas because they were afraid someone would get impaled. We visited the Palais, which took about three hours.

Perhaps we are just pokey, because the lady who sold us the tickets said it would take about an hour and a half.
We used the audioguides, which are informative and easy to use, but detract in a way from the experience in my opinion. After the palais we went to the Pont D’Avignon, at which point it was decided that it should rain like crazy. We huddled in the tower for awhile until it let up a little. Perhaps it was the weather, but I was not feeling inspired to dance on the bridge as in the song. Returning to our hotel to get ready for dinner, a wedding party passed us, horns honking like crazy and people shouting. I don’t know what came over me, but I burst into tears. I guess it being a combination of it being our wedding date, and seeing how happy the guests were, I got emotional. Alain thought I was nuts. We stopped and had tea at a little english tea room.

For dinner we ate at a restaurant called “Les Artistes” in a small square. The price was tolerable- I had the menu for 16 € and Alain for 24 € I believe. We were seated next to an American couple from North Carolina. It is always strange for me to come across other Americans just in a store or on the streets. I guess because there are so few in Marseille, that when we go visit more touristy places I am caught off guard. We had a good evening and not-quite rolled back to the hotel at around 10:30 pm.
Sunday morning we had a continental breakfast (croissants, baguettes with jelly, orange juice, and tea or coffee), then checked out of our room, put the luggage in the car, and continued exploring. Alain wanted to see the Museum Lapidaire, which was archeological artifacts, mainly Celto-Linguirian, Roman, and Egyptian. After that, we visited the Museum Calvert. They were having an exposition on Northern Masters, I guess artists from Germany and the Netherlands mainly. We had another audioguide for this. We then spent 15 minutes dashing through the rest of the exposition before it closed at 1 pm. We could have returned with the same ticket after lunch, but we didn’t feel like it.

We had lunch at the Place de l’Horloge, then walked through the gardens of the Rocher des Doms. Around 2:30 we decided that we were tired and had seen enough for one weekend. We walked back to the car (eating an ice cream along the way- good but not as good as the Italian Gelati in San Remo), and returned to Marseille, stopping again by his parent’s house for a bit. I also needed to return the sweater I had borrowed from Josée. I hadn’t brought one, as I figured I would be sweating and in shorts all weekend. Wrong! All in all, it was a great weekend. Avignon is a clean and nice place to visit, and depressingly less expensive to buy an apartment than in Marseille. Alain says that he wouldn’t want to live there, because once you have visited all of the museums, what is there to do? I would be slightly more open to living there (once again, CLEAN) but in a way he is right. You would be invaded by tourists with the city practically unlivable 4 months of the year, there are no real non-touristy jobs to speak of, and at least Marseille has other attractions, such as the sea and Calanques to go walking. But it is close by, and one can always pop up to visit for a day or so.

3 commentaires:

Samantha a dit…

Oh how fun, I've always wanted to go to Avignon! But everything on that side of France (Marseille included) is just so far from us. :-(

And I wish I had your email address, it'd be so much easier to contact you! But I saw the comment you left me earlier, and now I'm confused - haven't you been here for a few years already?

Mlle Smith a dit…

How fun! I absolutely love Avignon, and I can't wait to return. It's so beautiful and so rich in history. And with that giant medieval wall, it's really quite surreal.

Karina a dit…

Hi :-) I was reading your blog through Sam's comments and just wanted to tell you something. As you're a lucky one from the 14 states you can exchange your licence within 1 year as you said, but it is 1 year from when you applied for your CDS, and not 1 year from when you get it.. just be careful on that :-)
I agree though, beautiful dress!

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