Tuesday, October 13, 2009
We decided to hit the road yesterday and put more kilometers on so we could at least have a few days in Provence and try to make up for lost time. We stopped along the way at our favorite supermarket, Carrefour, where I picked up a couple of fresh croissants as a surprise for Chuck. He wasn’t too keen on stopping for his morning break so I bibbed him up and we kept going.
We stopped at a fairly nondescript campground somewhere north of Avignon to rest up, use the facilities and buy some WiFi time @ €5 for 2 hours.
The wind was blowing when we arrived and it is now, clearly, Le Mistral, a vicious wind that blows 30-60 miles per hour through Provence about 100 days per year. But never mind, we are in Avignon, the oldest inhabited city in France! And it is beautiful! Our €13 campsite, located on the Ile de la Barthelasse, is a perfect location, only a short walk across the bridge over the Rhône and into the city.
View of Avignon from Campsite
Walking across Pont Edouard Daladier
The wind is just amazing. I was in fear of losing my glasses and purposely wore my dark glasses thinking they might help keep some of the debris out of my eyes. I even held onto them at times. Fortunately, it isn't cold, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. However, the Rhône has whitecaps and I think I saw someone surfing.
We walked around the town, located the Palais des Papes and toured the beautiful park, Rocher des Doms, which is an area that dates back to 4000 BC. This place is pretty old. The views from up top were spectacular and I was able to see Mont Ventoux. This is the one that was featured in this year’s Tour de France. I have a painting of this mountain and really wanted to see it in person.
St. Andre Fort. Built to counter the influence of the Papacy in France in 1360. You build yours, we’ll build ours.
Time for dinner and we walked 8 blocks along a promenade on our little island to Le Bercail, a wonderful recommendation from, you guessed it, Rick Steves. We loved it.
Restaurant Le Bercail. Even arriving at 7:30 we are the first ones there, as usual. Others start arriving at 8 or 8:30. It was full by the time we left.
For my starter, I ordered a salad.
Chuck ordered the fish soup for his starter.
The pan fried petite fish sounded just right. I didn't know it involved looking into the eyes of the fish and then eating them!
Chuck was feeling manly, so he order the Bull stew.
Bull stewed in wine
My dream dessert. Anything coffee flavored.
Coffee ice cream with coffee sauce and whipped cream--homemade
We had a wonderful time at this warm and cozy little restaurant with Le Mistral whistling in the background. The walk home was really something. Face ripping wind and a view of Avignon all lit up. How do you beat that?
The whole future of art is to be found in the south of France ~ Vincent Van Gogh
Posted by Chuck and Claire at 10/13/2009 08:21:00 AM