Avignon’s marketing triumph

We spent pretty much all,of the day yesterday on trains. First from Madrid to Barcelona, then to Nimes, and finally to Avignon. We arrived in time for a meal and a night-time stroll about the town.

We started the day in a similar fashion, just wandering through Avignon’s lovely winding alleys. The old town on a quiet morning is just lovely.

But we, like everyone else, then went to see the Palas de Papes. It is a cavernous, stone building which was built to impress in the 1400s. Now to my mind it is just huge and empty and lacks character. Even the addition of some nifty augmented reality tablets which show each giant room as it used to be, only serves to highlight how little there is to see today. But maybe that’s inevitable when it was the palace of the anti-pope who in the end lost out to the Roman Pope.

After lunch we went to the Bridge. The Pont de Avignon is Avignon’s marketing triumph. It is a broken bridge, that leads nowhere and looks better when you are not standing on it – yet everyone, including us, pays to stand on it.

It was a beautiful warm day and a stroll through the shaded gardens with a breeze wafting over the Rhône River recovered my spirits.

Finally we had a lovely dinner sitting outside in a square near the palace, including appropriately a class of Chateau Neuf du Pape.

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