Saturday, May 16, 2009


Today I am a very happy traveller. I woke up early and took a short train to Arles. The place where Van Gogh left his ear, the site of an old roman arena, and, AND the location of an huge street market. I visited the cheesemonger, who sold me tiny little goat cheeses that looked like gumdrops. Then I bought cherries, a batard, and a quarter of a chicken from a rotisserie place set up right on the street. I looked for the longest lines of French-speaking people and got in those lines. Then I found a shady place by the ruin of a roman theater and had a picnic.

And can I just say that there is something very precious about tiny children yelling stuff in French?

After I got back to Avignon, I got serious about being a tourist and went to see the Palace of the Popes. It seems that the Vatican was a sketchy place to be in the 1300s so one of the popes packed up a la Green Acres and moved the papacy to backwater Avignon. And 12 or 13 popes afterwards stayed there in France. So the palace is this unreal, gigantic, fortress like building and I got to stand in the spot overlooking a vast courtyard where all those popes were coronated. Really an amazing place, and since the weather has been so nice, I could see for miles out those high up windows.

I am having a very nice time here.

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