Sur la pont d’Avignon…

Another French tale from 2012….

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French canal

 

Bonjour mes amis,
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. It’s very different here in France, they dont celebrate in the same way, much less hectic. No cheesy music in every shop, no horrendous decorations or displays of inflatable Santas, they don’t have crackers or mince pies, no carol singers! They just seem to treat it as a normal day – all the Boulangeries were open for baguettes and croissants, and even the local bus was running!

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Christmas decorations

 

Yesterday we took the local bus to Avignon, only 1.50euro each way. The buses are like huge luxury coaches, sometimes with only 3 passengers! It’s a good way to see the countryside, lots of pretty little villages, fields of fruit trees, vines, the Alps in the far distance.  Avignon is an ancient walled city, the wall is complete, with lots of ‘gates’ where the roads enter. It must have been amazing to live there in the Middle Ages or whenever it was built. As with many of the old French cities we have visited, there is an ‘old town’ consisting of narrow cobbled streets, high buildings, ancient churches. It didn’t seem very busy, so we decided to have a walk around before lunch.

 

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Avignon

Of course if you go to Avignon, you have to see the famous ‘Pont’ from the song I learnt in French when I was a child. Nowadays, the bridge is incomplete, it no longer spans the river, and they make you PAY to go on it! We didn’t think it worth paying, so instead we walked up to the castle and the lovely surrounding parks and gardens and took some lovely photos from the top. There is a huge castle, abbey etc, beautiful architecture.

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Café gourmand

When we walked back down to the town square, the town was much busier, so we found a restaurant for lunch. It was really sunny, blue skies, so we sat outside on the terrace and ordered the Plat de Jour which was fillet mignon. For dessert we were very naughty and we both ordered a ‘Cafe Gourmand’ which consists of a nice strong coffee, but the good bit is that it comes with four little tasters of delicious desserts on one plate! Caramel macaroon, chocolate cake, chocolate brownie, creme caramel. It was all disgusting and I only ate it to spare someone else the horror – LOL! See photo!

 

 

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French café

 

Back on the boat, the next morning I volunteered to do the broadcast on VHF radio which is like an information service to everyone in the port.  I was quite scared in case I made a mistake or someone asked me something I could not answer, but I just followed the script and it was fine! So now I can officially add the title of boat DJ to my CV. If I get asked to do it again, maybe I should add a jingle or two, or introduce a topical quiz, or I might have a ‘Fascinating Facts’ section. For example did you know that Beaucaire is on the same latitude as Toronto in Canada? And that the average French person eats 45lbs of cheese a year!

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French countryside

After breakfast Tim and I walked to the local ‘Brocante’, which is a bit like an antique market crossed with a car boot sale. Lots of things for sale that we could not identify. I told Tim it was lucky that we did not live in a house, as I wanted to buy lots of things, little copper pots and pans, garden planters, French posters and photographs, pretty boxes etc.

 

 

More from la belle France soon……

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8 thoughts on “Sur la pont d’Avignon…

  1. ah, the journey down the Rhone and the towering ecluse Bollene. What memories.
    Do you use If This Then That to shift your posts betwenn your blog and facebook?

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  2. No way! Fabulous! I think everyone learnt it at school. I remember we did it as a dance, with all the different people crossing the bridge. They’d fall off into the river now, though, it’s broken in half!

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  3. You make me so jealous! Do you realise how lucky you are to be able to do those fabulous trips and see the world the way you do? It costs us an arm and 2 legs to even fly to Europe, and then to stay there when with our miserable exchange rate of nearly 20 to 1, it is just out of our range. To top it, getting a visa is also a nightmare and very expensive. One would think that South Africans are as bad as ISIS the way the rest of the world treats us. Believe it or not, we are still a member of the Commonwealth. Not that it helps.
    So, thank you Georgie. Keep on with your lovely descriptions of places we dream of visiting, At least the way you tell it, almost makes us feel as though we are there.

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  4. Aww Liz, such nice comments, thank you! I didn’t realise how difficult it is for you to travel, that’s so unfair. Yes, sometimes when I get the grumps, which is quite often, I need to think more of what I’ve got and what I’ve done. But I havent got a house, I have no idea where I’ll be living when I’m very old, and there’s no point in me going for a day trip to IKEA as I can’t buy stuff for a house, and a lot of the time I have to wash my knickers in a bucket…..

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    • I guess we all have pro’s and con’s to our lives. I have a house, but as we get older, we spend more time fixing than we would like to. So I am grateful that we have lovely sunshine, a park for a garden, and more blessings than we deserve. Shame on me for envying you. BUT>>>>>>>>> How I would love to traipse around the OLDE TOWNE.
      Our son and family live in Stuttgart so we have had a little of what you talk about, maybe that is why it means so much to me. … and I paint……
      Keep on with your travel stories. I love them. How does your cat not fall off the boat?? Yours is one of the few blogs I keep, just no time for many more. THANK YOU!

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  5. Thank you Liz! My German friend who is coming to stay on Sunday is coming from Stuttgart! Oh the cat …. Haven’t written about her for ages, now she has a tale to tell, that’s for sure!

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