Day 32 to 34 – Avignon

I treated myself to a little weekend in Avignon. Such a beautiful place.

I jumped on a TGV at Gare de Lyon in Paris early Friday morning, and arrived in Avignon around midday. After a few hours of catching up on work stuff, I treated myself to a bottle of local wine and stroll around town to get my bearings.

At the center of the walled city is Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), which was home to 7 consecutive popes during the Avignon papacy in the 14th century. Palais des Papes is one of the largest gothic buildings in Europe. It really is incredible.

On Saturday morning I ventured out to Avignon les Halles, an indoor market with local produce, meat, cheese, bread… All of the French food! It was a little overwhelming dealing with the French crowds and French vendors, but I managed to leave with some bread, cheese, salad, and the most delicious apple I have ever tasted! I enjoyed a little picnic on the steps by Palais des Papes, before venturing inside for a tour.

Later that afternoon I crossed the Rhône to explore Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. I stopped at a few boulangeries along the way and wandered up and down the maze of laneways. It was so so beautiful.

That night a storm rolled through Avignon, so I took shelter in my hotel room, drank wine and did some laundry in the bathroom sink. It’s not all glamorous… 😉

Right next door to Palais des Papes is Avignon Cathedral, a Romanesque building constructed in the second half of the 12th century. Being in Avignon on a Sunday, I decided it would be cool to see the cathedral in action, so I took myself off to Sunday mass. I think it was the first time I’d been to mass in about ten years, so it was a pretty epic way to make up for it.

It rained on and off on Sunday, so I spent some time drinking coffee and reading, then wandered over to the park on the other side of the Rhône, bought a crêpe and strolled through the flea market.

A perfectly French weekend in Avignon!

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