I arrived in Avignon after a somewhat tumultuous stay in Nimes. (It was getting dark and rainy by the time I arrived at my “hotel” only to find reception closed and myself without a room key. It was my first night solo and let’s just say I got in eventually but slept with the lights on.) Suffice it to say that by the time I got to Avignon to find a pleasant, clean and SAFE airbnb, it was a major relief.
I made the decision some weeks back to put this time to good use and enrolled in a Yoga Teacher Training course, which takes place the last three weeks in April, in Mallorca (a.k.a. Majorca, a.k.a. Ibiza’s next door neighbor in the sunny Mediterranean). Three weeks of learning, stretching, eating healthy meals and meditating with a beautiful backdrop feels like exactly what my soul needs. And who knows, it might come in handy on my travels.
Back to Avignon; I spent the week meandering, reading and studying for my yoga course (we have way too many muscles and joints) and sleeping in, which was bliss. A week was the right amount of time needed to decompress and deal with being very aware of my ‘aloneness’ on this leg of the trip. Not to say that I am lonely, although I certainly have my moments, but I do feel a profound awareness at all times that it is just me here. As my friend Lisa said, you don’t travel alone to run away, you travel alone to be confronted with yourself. I think it’s true and I think it’s also a very important thing to do, especially at a major crossroads in your life.
So Avignon was not epic, nor was it meant to be. I walked the whole of the city, twice. I ate plenty of beautiful pastries (justified by the walking, of course), I discovered what came to be my ‘regular’ cafes, I spoke a lot of French, and I relaxed. Had I been in a bigger hurry, I could have covered it in a day trip. But for me, it was just right.
I will adjust these photos whenever I next have access to a laptop (which might be some time) but in the meantime, please find below some of the beautiful sights of the small, walled-in city.
The famous Pont D’Avignon (if you don’t know the song, give it a listen), numerous churches and architectural feats, the palais des papes.
And of course, the gorgeous pastries (including an authentic croissant from Chez Sylvain – which, I’m told, is the best and am inclined to agree).
This most adorable little cafe is called Ginette et Marcel and is known for its Tartins, which is basically an open-faced sandwich. But it’s French… so it’s better: