04.09.2012 - 14.09.2012
As we are only two days from the end of our three month journey, it has become necessary to finish off the blog! So our French travels have been condensed in to two entries. This first one relates to our visit to Avignon in Provence and Dijon in Burgundy.
Avignon is known as the city of Popes. This was because in the 14th century, Avignon was the papal seat for the Roman Catholics. There was a move from the Vatican to Avignon before its return although there was a period in which there was a pope plus an anti-pope in both places. Anyway, this is not a lesson in history but it is important to Avignon and its preservation of a gorgeous medieval old city that is surrounded by walls up to 8 metres thick in places, and fortified by 39 towers.
In Avignon we stayed within these old city walls in a lovely little apartment that was at least 300 years old. On a very hot day we visited Pont du Gard, the very impressive and largest remaining Roman aqueduct that is 2000 years old. Another impressive piece of Roman architecture was the massive amphitheater in Orange. We also did the touristy stroll along Pont di Avignon (bridge) which is famous for being built and ruined a few times. However the favorite visit for all of us was to the circus.
As the French are not; a) governed or b) concerned by laws and regulations concerning OH&S and animal welfare, circuses are very popular in France and can always be found playing in cities and towns. These are not low-budget affairs. We were gobsmacked by the quality of the acts. We laughed and screamed in excitement and fear during the performances. I wished we could have videoed both the performances and Bodhi's reactions. In fact he gave it the ultimate seal of approval when he declared that "it didn't even get boring." Obviously a lot more interesting than all those boring bridges!
Mostly though, we did bugger all and continued this theme in to Dijon. We roamed the cobbled lane ways, checked out the markets and ate the local specialities. Dave ate snails, I ate coq au vin and Bodhi ate cordon blu. We also indulged in the obligatory mustard eating and wine drinking or should I say - wine spilling, as I became overexcited during a game of French monopoly and spilt an entire glass of red over the white lace and crocheted cushions and table cloth in our apartment. Talk about spring in to action, it was the quickest we had moved in three months.
Our last day was spent driving through the Côte du Nuits wine region and visiting the town where the movie Chocolat was filmed. We then indulged ourselves by downloading the film on our iPad. We kicked ourselves that we hadn't thought of doing this weeks before as we love watching films and watching foreign TV shows was often an endurance. The exception to this rule was the French version of 'Farmer wants a Wife.' Hilarious!