Tuesday, 6 March 2018
We packed and cleaned up, then left our temporary home, and walked to the regional bus station. No problem getting a ticket, and not a long wait for our (fast) bus—great!
For us, the bus ride was an urban escape. We saw geological formations.
We saw row crops and farm buildings
We saw grape vines. (Duh. France.)
We spotted a rail bridge crossing a river.
And when we spotted familiar city walls, we knew we’d reached Avignon. When we were here before, we never entered the walls. That’s why Avignon is on our itinerary.
Making our way north from the bus station, we found carousel broncos…two stories!
We checked in our new housing, and found out our space is multi-level. We enter at street level, go down about a half story, enter our quarters (well, the zone we inhabit), then up one level to the living room/kitchen, up an additional half-level to the bathroom and toilet off the landing (large shower; claw-foot tub), and up another half-level to the generous bedroom/private sitting room. The main rooms look out onto the owner’s private garden, so lovely, although many of his potted plants got zapped by the cold temps a week ago. He has ancient pittosporums, if I understood him correctly. Something for me to look up!
Our next stop: food—a hot lunch. This is the Guru’s roast chicken and veg and mashed.
Off exploring we went up and up, to an elevated garden between the pope buildings and the water. Apparently it is above a huge cistern that supplied the city’s water at one time. We found gardeners busy.
We also found excellent views of the city, and beyond. The river splits upstream of Avignon. This landform is an island…look carefully in the background, center for the other branch of the river. Downstream—and the Mediterranean—is to the left.
Later, we were out and about again, and the late-day sun lit up the archives (left third) and papal palace (center and right).
We feel like we have a sense of the flavor of the city from today’s brief explorations, leaving plenty to investigate over the next two days! For now, rest!