Travel in France – The Provence Region – Tour to Avignon

posted in: Italy Travel | 3

Saturday May 12

This was an early morning as I had to be ready to leave the ship by 7am for a tour to Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. By 7:15 the tour bus departed the port of Marseille and I was listening to our young friendly French guide named Thibaut and learning the history of Marseille. I find that it is much easier to learn about history through this means instead of a boring class in school. I always hated history.

Avignon Welcome sign
Walls in Avignon

As we drove towards the medieval city of Avignon I enjoyed the beautiful landscape of the south of France. It is May so the Spanish Broom was blooming in brilliant shades of golden yellow. Also in bloom and dotting the countryside were the valerian plants in shades of lavender. I wish I had some decent photos of this gorgeous countryside but it is not possible to get anything of quality through a bus window. Instead I am posting a photo taken by Marek Gehrmann titled Lavender field in the Provence, France.

Lavender Field Provence France 021

Closer to Avignon and Aix once in awhile I could see poppies growing in fields that were colored in brilliant red. Paul Cezanne was born in Aix and I could now understand how he had been inspired to paint in such bright colors. There is a statue of him in the center of Aix.

Cezanne statue in Aix-en-Provence
Walls of Avignon

Avignon looks like something out of a movie or a book as the entire city is surrounded with an ancient wall and inside is a huge palace built by popes. Appropriately this palace is called Palace of the Popes, or  Palais des Papes and occupies part of a huge square of the same name.

Palais des Papes

The streets here are winding and built with cobblestones and I love these kinds of places because around each corner is a surprise.

Street in Avignon

I found that not only the Italians hang their clothes outside their windows. The French also love flowers and they are everywhere.

Flower shop in Avignon
Lavender shop in Avignon
Outdoor restaurants in Avignon

There are lots of little shops and restaurants here and naturally I found one where I could buy some wonderful French bread and eat it as I wandered around on my own.

Bread and pastry shop in Avignon
Bread in Avignon
Selection of breads and pastries in Avignon
Pain chocolat and other delights in Avignon

Next post will be about the other half of this day as the tour continues to the town of Aix.

3 Responses

  1. Lori Samarinl

    These photos of the pastries prove my point, in that I believe that when one compares “quality to quality”, Europe is not that expensive after all. Look at the size of those pastries for the price listed in Euros!. As long as one stays out of the tourist traps, quality food can be found at palatable prices.

  2. Florence

    It looks to me friend that you just had “too” good of a time.. 🙂 Your blog is outstanding once more and the pictures awesome. Food and flowers both so extremely enticing and isn’t it so difficult to try to make a choice between them all. You have further insured that I really must go to France.
    So glad that your home and that your vacation was so fabulous!!!!

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