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Avignon

Stepping Outside

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.

There is a massive covered market several blocks from here. Fish mongers hold forth daily, each stall showing its own curious array of heads and eyes and tentacles and scales (with seafood fragrance, of course). In another region of the floor there are spread out spices of all colors and textures, with aromas and flavors that accompany. And several cheese sellers are here,

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Boulangeries of course aren't far away, with exquisite loaves stacked up or arranged in a phalanx that morning, practical but also striking in their artful appearance. It's likely we will spend some time in a more local bakery, being tempted by aromas and seeds we think we recognize — becoming more educated about this stuff, in the process.

"Sur le pont d'Avignon" is the captivating first line of a French kid's song, which really wants to be enjoyed just for the fun of it. This is that bridge, extending its 14th century strength about halfway out into the Rhone river, where it just kind of dies. Washed away centuries ago, it was once meant to carry commerce from one section of France to the other.

 

Securing the western (now missing) end of the bridge, was this fortress whose battlements may still be explored on foot. We plan to — after crossing by another, stronger and more permanent bridge.

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I don't know that we will revisit Arles (street shown here), but we love it; and the short train-ride to the south would take very little convincing.

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I included this photo here to acknowledge the many places where one may enjoy French cooking. Obviously there are Italian places in Avignon, and Spanish and Indian and Chinese, and likely someplace boasting Vietnamese cuisine.

 

The camera-maestro who made this picture had to straddle the narrow but still frisky Sorgue stream that continues its route along the Street of the Dyers, to include the wisteria blossoms and wrought iron fence, as well as the little tables waiting beyond. I look forward to enjoying a marvelous dejeuner at one of those sites.

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They're Going Again!