Monday, October 03, 2016
The last two days have been relaxed, with a visit to Pont du Garde yesterday and a close look at the Avignon bridge, St. Benedict's Bridge (I think), the one in the nursery rhyme.
The experience at Pont du Garde was a bridge of sorts, too. Their excellent museum really communicated the Roman experience of creating the aquaduct that carried water for 300 years from the mountains all the way to Nimes. It was a marvel of Roman engineering. The bridge is taller than the Statue of Liberty, long enough to match three modern jetliners parked nose to tail. It has three graceful sets of arches and the museum exhibits showed what went in to making those successive arches. By the time that we walked to the bridge, it was raining, but since neither Sweetie nor I melt, we were fine. If you look you can see the umbrellas of other visitors. Look for the umbrellas on high, found during our walk through the old town of Avignon later.
Not to be forgotten is our lunch that day. We still are not used to French business times. Shopping is done in the early morning and after 4 or 4:30 pm until about 7 (at least in Provence) and lunch is from noon to 2 pm. We left the Pont du Garde site about 2:30, forgetting to eat, so turned off at a grocery store only to find it closed since it wasn't shopping time. The only place we could find still open for eating was a McDonald's! I hadn't eaten at McDonald's in the States for something like 20 years. But I was grateful that they were open, that they had touch screens so we didn't have to order in fractured French, and the McNuggets tasted about the same, as did the frites (fries). Here is a near by building set showing the juxtaposition of old and new.
Today we walked around Avignon's old section
and had a picnic lunch in the gardens by the Palais du Pape. Plums, local cheese, pate and baguette...very French.
It was sunny but quite windy at the top of the garden where we could see all the way from the Luberon mountains where we were last week to the Rhone river and ramparts nearby.