French ponderings.....

French ponderings.....
Dreaming of France in The Land Down Under.......

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sur le pont d'Avignon...l'.on y danse......

Avignon would have to be my favourite city in the south of France, and as for the song 'Sur le Pont d'Avignon', well I remember learning it  so many years ago in one of my first french lessons at school. To think it took me nearly 30 years to 'dance' on the actual bridge itself (Pont Saint Benezet), well I guess good things come to those who wait.....??



Click below for a refresher on song..translation included :)

                                        



The first night my friend and I stayed in Avignon, we headed to a local cafe and found ourselves seated next to a large table of americans..as they were leaving, they asked us if we realised we were being 'painted'?  'No....???' we replied searching around..and there he was..a gorgeous young man, sitting a few tables along , very busily drawing us! Just before we left (before I was tempted to come out of Karaoke retirement...) he approached us with  very special  'paintings'.....




Quelle surprise! Unfortunately, mine had an amazing resemblance !!!! Of course we made the purchase, congratulating him on his fine work :)

I love the fact that the 'old' city is surrounded by medieval fortified walls, of which a portion tourists can walk along via Pont Benezet. You can almost imagine yourself back in history...only popping in when safe, of course!




It would be remiss of me not to mention Le Palais du Papes  (the pope's palace), one of the largest  medieval gothic buildings of all europe! It became the residence of the roman popes in 1309, when they fled from the violence  and chaos  of Rome after the 1305 election.....(seems elections don't go down well any time...:)  )


Palais du Papes.


There is just a 'je ne sais quoi' about beautiful Avignon......



The 'old worldly' merry -go- round in Place de l"Horloge.
 

The alluring provancal boutique fronts.....



the many cafes and restaurants beneath the cooling canopy of plane trees....
  
the old winding streets....


But beware......there is a very, VERY strong wind that can blow in these parts of Provence...it's called the Mistral...it can blow for days and days sometimes...and word has it, it can send people a little..'fou/folle'!
This poor sod below really didn't stand a chance with 'son parapluie'! (He is 'my' poor sod :) )


Of course Avignon is a wonderful 'base' if you are wanting to explore this provencal area. There is a TVG station near town (Train a Grand Vitesse.......fast train) and I have taken it 3 times from Paris, Gare de Lyon, really enjoying the 2 1/2 hours of comfort and the french countryside scenery.



Gare de Lyon, Paris.



raileurope.com
  
  If you like, you can take the 20 min TGV trip from Avignon to Aix-en-Provence, another gorgeous provencal city, and if you  go on a Thursday morning, you will catch a fantastic clothes market in the main street, Cour Mirabeau...awesome buys, great prices!

Avignon has its own markets, of course, Les Halles, for food etc, book markets, antique markets..the list just goes on and on.!

I haven't even touched on the annual  'Festival d'Avignon'....It's a huge affair, apparently. I'll get there one day...check out the link below...this is only a small street show, but fun in any language, don't you think? :)

                                                   street show at Avignon festival


  If you've spent time in Avignon, what did you love the most?

A Bientôt, Gigi

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