Friday, June 17, 2011

Seeing France, Our Way - Avignon

This week, I almost succeeded in filling my second travel journal since we retired 12 years ago.  Let's just say, I have never been one to keep a diary for more than a month.  I know many that do this faithfully.  But, I knew that as I grew older and traveled more, all my experiences would blend into one big trip and many details would be lost...I love details.  I started keeping a travel journey in 1999, of each day we are in Europe.  Laughingly, I ALWAYS write about what we eat along the way.  We love Europe for the food, the wine, the people and the history that is so very old.   So, if you care to, you may follow along on one more trip over the big pond.  Europe..the place that my heart always yearns for.

With one checked bag, one carry on, a backpack and my large purse, The Trout and I flew to Paris on May 25.  We caught the TGV (bullet train) to Avignon where we spent two nights in a studio apartment.  Surprisingly, that night we slept 12 hours straight.  Woke very refreshed and ready to start our trip.

The Palais des Papes, where the papal court moved in 1309.  After the return to Rome, the papal property remained for the next 300 years as the summer home for the popes.

The last remaining arches of Avignon's famous bridge, The Chapelle St.-Nicholas.  It is part Romanesque, part-Gothic.

The side of the Palace of the Popes

I found this small street amazing.  Just look how man built housing out of the rock and left the rough, untouched rock as a foundation.  This is a walking street that is photographed many, many times a day.
The next day we went to several museums seeing art from the 13 through 20th centuries.
For dinner that evening at "Brigadeer at the Theatre" The Trout had Durade a la creme a'Amade.  This plate is a work of art, and it tasted wonderful.

I enjoyed Saute de Volaille Chilindron, a curried chicken.  Notice the balsamic vinegar that kissed the plate.  We noticed that a lot this trip.  A nice added touch.  Of course, this was very old and heavy balsamic.

On the second day, we went to the train station to pick up our rental car.  With our trusty GPS that we brought from home, we plugged in "Sylvie" and were off on our driving adventure.  To rent a GPS in France costs about $20 a day.  This is the second year we brought our's from home.  It has European maps which work wonderful.  Sometimes we did not trust Sylvie, but she always got us there.  Road signs can not always be trusted.  You have to know the map of the country well.  As always, I am the designated navigator.  In otherwords, I would not drive in Europe for anything!!  If you want to drive to a town 20 miles away, you need to know the location of the largest town in that direction, perhaps 200 miles away.  You do get used to it.  

So, I have started you on our journey.  The views get better...the food becomes exceptional...and we do have fun.  Bientot!

Almost forgot...I wanted to add a little French fashion to the end of the posting.  The Trout could hardly turn these down as we walked by the store window.


  1. I'm so glad you're back from France with photos and journals Susan. Welcome home. We've missed you.

    Avignon is a lovely city. There's a little art museum there in a townhouse that we love that has some original Degas paintings.

    When we visited Provence, we wanted o take something special back for a friend of ours who loved motorcycles. Believe it or not, we found the Harley Davidson dealer in Avignon. What you'll do for a friend when I could have been shopping in the adorable shops there.

    We go to Europe for the food and wine too. Definitely worth the jet lag. Glad to know your GPS works there. I'm the navigator too and when you get lost, it sure comes in handy to know he words for left, right, and straight in French.

    Those shoes are something. Again, welcome home. Can't wait for more posts about your trip.

  2. Love those shoes! I am glad you and the Trout are safely back home and hope we get to read more about your adventures in Provence.

  3. Great pictures and memories - tell us more! Will those shoes be the Trout's new fly-fishing waders? LOL

  4. Great photos of places that I have never seen. There is so much to see here in France that I am lucky to be able to see it through other peoples eyes. Thanks so much for this, looking forward to more of your travels. Diane

  5. Great photos of places that I have never seen. There is so much to see here in France that I am lucky to be able to see it through other peoples eyes. Thanks so much for this, looking forward to more of your travels. Diane

  6. Susan, I hear the excitement in your voice! There is nothing quite like the architecture of Europe... the closest thing we have is Washington, DC, but it doesn't come close. I am always amazed at what they accomplished so many hundreds of years ago and with little technology. The history, the charm... all so captivating. Wonderful photos and I'm looking forward to the next segment. Welcome home.

  7. I'm so happy you are home, Susan, and am looking forward to every post. I'm so excited to make this journey with you. Those are quite the shoes!

  8. Welcome home, Susan! Thanks for the tour of Avignon. The building is amazing with being built out of the rock and the shoes look pretty classy. I'm looking forward to more great posts about your trip!

  9. What a lovely post, Susan. It sounds like you have made beautiful memories to share with us and with each other. I am anxiously awaiting future posts. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

  10. I'm all ears and eyes!!! Great first trip post!

    Whew...weird shoes, hope Trout didn't buy! ;)

    Pat's working...yea, he just started A job over in Great Falls, we are thrilled, he's home on weekends. God's good!

  11. Welcome back!! I look forward to more European posts.

  12. Welcome home. How bless you two are, to be retired and able to travel to such a beautiful place. I can live vicariously, through you, until my retirement finally comes. That street would have definitely made me stop to photograph. Such history!

  13. I can hardly believe the Trout resisted those shoes; I know Evan would have wanted both colors. ;)

    Susan, your post is wonderful... I look forward to more travels with you! The architecture is breathtaking. blessings ~ tanna

  14. Welcome back, Susan! It's lovely to see your photos and hear your stories of time in France and delicious meals enjoyed there.

  15. Welcome home! I'm sure you had a wonderful trip and I can't wait to see more photos. What a gorgeous palace and I love that shot where the it's hard to tell where the rocks end and the structure begins!

    So how many pairs did Trout buy??? :-)

  16. Welcome back to the real world! You just brought back great memories of our time in Provence. Love that you share your foodie adventures; give us some more.

  17. So happy to have found your site. My husband and I travel as you do, renting a car for our travels in Europe and always have a GPS. We call her Faith...hoping she will find our destination. It is amazing how well they work. I don't have to keep my eyes on a map as much as I use to.

  18. This does bring back wonderful memories of our time in the south of France. Oh I do hope to return someday. We took our GPS with European maps too. Our GPS is Mimi2, because my husband says I am Mimi1 and he had two women telling him what to do. The only time I keep a journal religiously is when traveling. Look forward to more posts on your wonderful trip.

  19. I used to keep travel diaries when I was younger, but no longer. I do often refer back to them, however.
    What a wonderful trip! Your photos are marvelous and I can't wait to hear more.