Friday, December 30, 2011

Avignon, Palace of the Popes

From Nimes, we travelled to Avalon and it was drizzling when we arrived. We went on a walking tour of the old town. Our meeting point was at a colourful carousel near the Theatre and the Town Hall, or Hotel de Ville. You will find such Hotel de Ville in all the cities in France and they are not hotels in the Ville chain but all of them Town Halls of the cities.

After getting our bearings, we ventured to the Palace Square where the Palace of the Popes and the Cathedral is located. The Palace housed the Pope and the Vatican when they moved (temporarily) from Rome in the 14th Century.
The very spacious square.

The Papal Palace looks more like a fortress rather than a palace.

The Avignon Cathedral is more modest but has a Mother Mary statue that is taller than the Palace.

Unfortunately I did not go further behind to the garden that has a good view of the Rhone River and the famous incomplete bridge.

It was then back to the meeting point before we checked into our hotel.

After checking into the hotel (Ibis Avignon with typically small rooms) that lies near the railway station just outside the city walls, we walked back into the old town centre to have our dinner. It was bitterly cold with the strong wind. On our way we saw many children and adults in costumes.

More views of the city along the way to my dinner.

While waiting for my food, I watched the children and adults in costume in procession on the streets (together with a small band) and ended in front of the theatre before they marched off, presumably into the theatre for a performance. 

There were plenty of restaurants around that area serving the tourists all with various formules for under 20 euros. We went back to the hotel after our dinner braving the chilling wind once again.


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