Awe of Avignon

After days and days of waiting to get an internet signal I finally gave up. On the river it is worst than intermittent. It is non-existent. It’s as if the Gods are saying “don’t even bother!”

The Art of Arles

So, each day is something new. I have met most people on the cruise who have broken something. Shoulder, a dislocated shoulder, an ankle. “Yeah, I fell off a horse, a bike, I tripped.” All very kind though. “Hey, how’s that chicken wing today?” By now, I’m sure my nick name is “Chicken Wing” on the ship. But I don’t care. I feel like I am getting better. Inch by inch, day by day. Doing my exercises, drinking excessive amounts of wine. We are after all in Provence.

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In Arles is also is a bull ring. ancient really and built by the Romans for gladiator events. But Napoleon married one gal from Granada. “Doña María Eugenia. The last Empress of the French was born in Granada, Spain, Napoleon III chose the location near Spain so his wife would not get homesick for her native country.”

So as any good first lady would do she bought something fun to the country to enjoy. It was bull fighting. And to this day it very popular in this region of Spain. In fact, we were there on the eve of the first bullfight as they decorated the floor of the floor of the ring with special paints.

If that were not enough of a surprise imagine that the Camino de Santiago has a route through Arles. I found one. The symbols wove through town and trickled round the Roman bull ring, where I first spotted one. …and then several more as we walked out of town.

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The place is amazing. Some towns we have visited are trapped in time and each time you come upon a new alley way you look down and see a picture postcard view of the past locked in time.

Viviers was one, this sweet old French women led us through a maze of streets and churches. At first I was afraid she might have a heart attack. But I grew to appreciate her sense of humor and her elegant way of speaking in English with French nuances. She said, “I know I am slow because I am old, yes. But we do not need to hurry. This place is in no hurry for us.”

And cats abounded as well in little alcoves and just laying on the cool cobblestones cleaning themselves.

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And there has been much wine tasting, one of the best was at Peppin. They gave us a great tour and tasting of some of their finest wines.

 

 

As we left this region we cruised into Lyon early in the morning. It was so peaceful.

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