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Avignon

Our Home in

Typically the beds that one lies  upon in Europe, at night, are comfortable. Not very wide/long, but eminently sleepable. Shown here is one of our third-floor apartment's bedrooms, with handsome pieces complementing. I want to congratulate our host's choice of these features, because for the sake of the experience it does matter how a room has been furnished (and if you're lucky it has not been made efficient and smooth). The polar opposite of comfortable is barren, in other words. Here is comfort.

Next room for commentary is the kitchen/dining area. In this domain, there needs to be a balance between practical and fun — efficient versus traditional. Granted that you can escape from the cooking area faster if there's less wiping up to do, if you don't have to think where that knife gets stashed, where the small bowls should be stacked. Ultra-modern is a sensible approach, I admit, but only if cooking is an unfortunate necessity to be endured, rather than a challenge to grow through engaging with. This is a peek into our French kitchen this week. So, wanna grate some cheese?

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and sausage merchants, and sellers of veggies showing artfully arranged stacks of peppers and potatoes and artichokes not far away. And right over there is one of the several clusters of little bistro tables, marking eateries where shoppers may pause and rest their feet, and visit with friends. Not a fast-food burger franchise to be found anywhere. Although this place feels like a ground-floor-only department store in some respects, it's somehow tastefully done. Not very much plastic, no IKEA.

Stepping outside, of a morning, at that intersection between the ultra scenic Street of the Dyers and Rue des Lices — a direct route into the commercial and tourist districts (right in the middle of this photo) — there are decisions to be made:  are we walking for physical needs, maybe searching for food, or are we locating historical sights, or  are we determined to ascend to wondrous vistas? Or maybe just allowing ourselves to be surprised by a place that feeds our soul? Decisions, decisions.

 

Happy ones.

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Going in almost any  direction, though, you will find yourself walking along features of an old city wall. Still-wonderful towers punctuate these winding crenelated 12th-14th C defensive barriers. They have been kept more or less original in form — if little appears to have been very much restored, at least no contemporary busybody has stepped forward to modernize them. Shudder.

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And cruise boats tie up along the Rhone. I am not sure how fond I am of these bits of floating commercialism, on the river here. We have enjoyed several such excursions, ourselves, so there's little high-ground upon which to perch, with our stolid feet-on-cobblestone viewpoint. But there they are, many of them, tied up at the quai, simply bobbing like a costly extra-terrestrial amusement park ride.

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They're Going Again!