Avignon, France – city of food and omnipresent performers

Before going to France some people advised us not to rent a car because public transport is really good and French have TGV – truly amazing trains;  while others said that car is a must while exploring the south of France. Luckily, we listened to the latter and decided to rent  a car.

We had our two days off, and wanted to make the most of it. Our first destination was Avignon. That was our car pick-up point and also the first city on our places to explore-list!

We had some difficulties finding the car company and we tried to ask the passersby, but this turned out to be a bad idea, as everybody was pointing in a different direction! One lady even started chatting with us about who knows what, as we didn’t understand much and where eager to find the rent-a-car company.

About hour and a half later, a sweet stranger offered to give us a lift directly to our car company. (I think we looked desperate! ;))He even helped us look for the company,in what seemed to us then a rent-a-car company jungle. Thanks to the kindness of a complete stranger we found our rent-a-car company in time!

 

Old city of Avignon is enveloped by ramparts and at this time of year a theatre festival takes place, so the streets of Avignon look like a theatre on go. Yu can see performers everywhere. People walk around wearing their costumes. Ads announcing theatre shows literally took over the city. Every piece of the wall is covered in colourful ads.

City is packed with tourists and locals, AND lovely restaurants. After the tiring search for rent-a-car company, we were both a bit grumpy and the best cure of grumpiness is  food. After a short walk down the city centre, our stomachs and our noses desperately wanted and demanded to make our first gourmand stop on this amazing two-day-trip. We chose a restaurant in one of many Avignon’s cobbles, narrow streets. It wasn’t a local restaurant but food was great all the same. I was so hungry that I ordered a huge portion of meat tartar! But my co-foodie made a better choice. He ate smoked meat. Delicious! Having filled our stomachs, we were ready for a dip in a river, so we headed towards the car and drove off towards Pont du Gard…

Car turned out to be a very good choice indeed. If we didn’t rent one we would have missed the opportunity to try sausages made of bull, to drink beer in the company of a beautiful white Camargue horse, to see pink flamingos, swim under Pont du Gard, and so many other things.

Here are some pics from amazing Avignon afternoon!

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famous Avignon bridge

 

 

 

AVIGNON street art

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Hitchihking and discovering oasis, Langoudoc-Roussillion

We are currently placed in Uzes, a beautiful town in Langoudec Roussillion region, in the south of France.

Yesterday we woke up, did bit of work and decided to use the afternoon to see a bit of the region. Uzes is beautiful, but the best time to visit it is when the market takes place. Afternoons are hot and are a perfect time for siesta or to head towards one of the nearby places for a swim.

So we found a good place to hitchhike. I placed my thumb up high, and a few minutes later we were sharing a car with one lady and her dog. She dropped us very near pond of St Niccolas, a place where we were hoping to find a water to swim in.

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Just a few minutes later, another car stopped. It was a guy this time, and he spoke excellent English, and he almost got us believing that he was British and not French. He drove us a few miles further and instructed us on how to reach Gardon, a place for swimming. We walked, and passed the bridge, and saw that there was no water at all passing below the bridge…

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The picture was both jaw-dropping and scary. This place should be full of water, but instead it’s dry as a desert.

We continued anyways and found a little path that we believed would take us closer to the water spring. We walked and walked, what seemed like eternity. I gave up my hopes and thought that we were going to turn back and hitchike our way back to Uzes, but luckily!, I was wrong. We did come across a small watery paradise. I was so happy to see this big, green pond. It seemed like the most beautiful spring to me yesterday.

IMG_1512I am a bit spoiled and used to the sea, and although this place looked tempting after walking in the scorching heat, I resisted the temptation anyways and walked into the pond up to my thighs and hid myself  from the sun, in the shadow nearby. It was a real oasis on that sunny day.

We headed back towards the road. It was time to hitchhike again. This time hitchhiking didn’t got that smoothly. I pulled my thumb up, hoping somebody would have mercy on us and stop the car. The place where we hitchhiked wasn’t very good, so we decided to walk for a bit and try again. Again, cars were passing one after another what seemed a never-ending process. I just wanted to hide from the sun. I could feel my head burning.

And finally, a car that was approaching us started slowing down, and he turned left, heading towards us. We were so happy.

I asked in my bad French ‘Direction, Uzes?’, and when he replied ‘Oui!, Oui!’, two of us jumped with joy. We climbed into the car and even managed to kick off a conversation with the driver. He spoke French and we spoke something that was a combination of French, Italian and English. Anyhow, I think we understood eachother. And he really made our day!

And food that followed later, made our day even more! We started first with a delicious French glace and finished off with a plate of cheese, home-made pate, anchovies, and so on the list goes. La vie est belle! 🙂

bisou!

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