Croissants at the Palais des Papes - Avignon, France
My turn at the wheel started out great! Smooth sailing out of Montpellier, and following the GPS to Avignon. We passed through the medieval city walls and spotted a parking garage to ditch the car. But then we thought we could find parking closer to our Airbnb... and I might've skimmed a painted cement pole on our exit. Nothing some water and a good scrub with my sandal couldn't get out!
To say the streets of Avignon are narrow is an understatement. I'm still convinced these streets are pedestrian only. At one point I drove the wrong way down a one-way road and had to make a 10-point turn in the intersection (with the help of a friendly French woman) to get back out. Whoops! And of course we ended up back at that first parking garage.
Side note: if you're watching the newest season of 'Master of None', I wasn't thaaat bad.
This charming little street is where our 14th century Airbnb is.
Not a bad view to look out of when you're doing business in the bathroom.
We hit the streets for wine and food!
A tribute to those special couples who never stop loving and exploring; I have major envy.
My face while trying pâté for the very first time. Verdict: incredible! I'm kicking myself for not having tried it sooner. After finishing the bottle of rosé, we meandered home.
But woke bright and early for a packed day! First stop, la boulangerie for fresh croissants.
Which we enjoyed on the steps of the Palais des Papes (the Pope's Palace). We waited for the large organized groups to get ticketed, before breaking off on the route not already occupied.
We were thus rewarded with quiet areas to wander through. This historical palace was once the seat of Western Christianity. It held 6 papal conclaves here during the 14th century. When the papacy returned to Rome in 1370, the palace began to lose its importance. Today this UNESCO site attracts around 650,000 visitors each year to enjoy its historical and cultural significance. It's currently home to a contemporary art collection as well.
Up to the top to get our bearings of the city:
We really loved Avignon and said goodbye with a quick salute.
We had to.
Sadly the lavender fields of Provence don't really pop until July, so my dreams of frolicking will just have to wait. But poppies were in full bloom, and on a whim we found the quaint little town of Opèdde. This place is chock full of all that French countryside goodness.
Spontaneous "pull overs" often lead to some pretty great moments.
Seriously consider renting a car the next time you're abroad. It's not too expensive if you split the cost amongst friends, and the freedom to make your own schedule and go where you want is worth every penny.
At our next stop we add a friend to the mix... stick around to find out where!