Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Getting to the Pope's Palace

On Tuesday morning we left the wonderful Chambres La Sarrasine in Villes-sur-Auzon. We had a great meal the previous night and had enjoyed our stay in a home built in 1600. Bertrand, our host, had made us a great dinner with liberal use of herbs from Provence. We loaded up and said goodbye to Bertrand at the front door.

We had a fairly easy day through the farmland outside of Avignon. The GPS in the IPad was critical to our route finding since there were so many roads. We rode along waterways and through small farms for almost 30 km.

The road into Avignon was one of the best we've had into a large city. There was a a good shoulder or a bike lane the whole way. We were arriving on day of a music festival and the town was jumping. We walked around and saw the outside of the major attractions before the party started.

This local street band caught our eye and ears since they were playing "When the Saints go marching in."

The crowd kept getting bigger and the music louder.

We don't know when the party ended, but we're sure it was a late. Today, Wednesday, we did our sightseeing. The palace of the Popes of Avignon was established in 1309 and nine Popes resided here over a hundred year period. The palace was continually added on to and is one of the largest in the world at over 15,000 square meters (over 160,000 square feet). The walls are amazingly thick and hold up one massive room on top of another.

Here is the major dining room.

And the large chapel.

Tomorrow we are on our way towards Arles.


Diana said...

Great stuff...the canal bike route must have been heaven. The palace of the Popes is spectacular. You seem to be covering alot of ground. Do you have a daily goal? You must love having an iPAD for this trip. The world at your fingertips.

Dave and Belinda said...

The perpetual GPS in the IPad is the ultimate cure to debating where you are on the map. It has been a major kilometer saver which is important when you're on a bike. One day before we started using it we added 10 km to our daily mileage with errors in navigation.

Marco said...

Hello Dave and Belinda, Wow Avignone looks beautiful like I imagined. It's good you find a festival just when you arrived there. Here it's very hot and I thin also there. Ciaooo

Dave and Belinda said...

Hey Marco, good to hear from you! Yes it's getting warm now. Temperatures about 26 or 27. We really enjoyed Avignon. Give our best to your family!

Hans and Brigitte said...

Hello Dave and Belinda,
nice that we met you at Col de Macuegne. Our holydays are over and we have to get to work tomorrow, but we will follow your tour blog.
Did you have a closer look at the church right in the background of your foto of Chambres La Sarrasine in Villes-sur-Auzon? It is very revolutionary: it has "REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE" carved in big letters on the front wall, and over the entrance door "Liberté Egalité Fraternité".