A walk through Avignon

Sometimes I wish the South of France was less crowded with tourists.  Which is not the best thing to say, as I am one myself.  Okay, not really.  There must be some difference between a traveller and a tourist, as I see myself as a traveller wanting to experience the essence of my destination rather than snapping pictures of big sights only to say that I was there.  This is why I love walking, wandering and exploring my destination on foot.  Avignon’s old town, in Provence, makes for a lovely walk to see the city’s rustic beauty at a slow pace.

My guest house was close to Porte de la République (Avignon Centre train station side) and this is where I started my walk on the main Rue de la République, turning off in one of the many side streets.

What a pleasant surprise it was finding a life-size version of ‘Pink Blouse Amedeo’ by Modigliani.

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Pink Blouse Amedeo by Modigliani

I made a stop at Les Halles for a snack and watched the many locals going about life in Place Pie.

avignon-les-hallesAvignonHallesWiki

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful peonies in front of Les Halles
Beautiful peonies in front of Les Halles

Back on the main tourist path, Place de L’Horloge bustling with restaurants and the famous L’Hôtel de ville d’Avignon greeted me, showing off its impressive build.

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Scene from Place de L’Horloge

From here it’s difficult not to find oneself on the way to the Palais des Papes.  It still looms over the town with past authority making it unmissable.

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Golden statue of the Virgin Mary
Place in front of the Palais du Papes
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Palais du Papes

Avignon14After revelling at its grandeur it’s only a small climb to Rocher des Doms.  The green space surprised me with a special view over the Rhône River and St Bénézet’s Bridge.

View from the top
View from the top

I found a path heading down passing small artisan shops selling handmade products from Provence.  It’s difficult to ignore the many soap vendors and I join in with many others, testing the perfumes of the different soaps.AvignonSoapBelleProvence

Avignontourisme

 

 

 

 

One ice-cream later and the sun is setting over the river.  The riverbank is the perfect place to watch nature (and a wedding photographer in action).

St Bénézet’s bridge
View from the bottom
View from the bottom

I leisurely stroll back, getting slightly lost along the way in the many little streets of Avignon.  In Rue des Lices I (and my friend) come across the charming bistro L’Espice and Love, recommended by the polite guest house owners at Hotel Bouqier (recommended!).

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I love the style of the small dimly lit bistro, the pink walls and illustrative posters on the wall.  Starting off with a deep red wine and a starter, then onto braised pork cheek and crème brulee.

Hmm red wine :)

Home-cooked braised pork cheek
Goat’s cheese starter

 

It’s only a short walk back to the guest house. With my tummy joyously full, this was a (walking) day well spent in my book.

This post is also part of the City Tripping Linkup.

MummyTravels
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19 thoughts on “A walk through Avignon

  1. Sometimes I wish there were less tourists in some places too. We can dream, right? Thanks for sharing your photos of Avignon. I am contemplating a trip to Southern France and this is one of the places I would like to visit.

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  2. Such lovely photos – Avignon is such a gorgeous place, it’s far too long since I was last there. It really is the perfect place to wander round in the sunshine, stopping at cafes and browsing I think. Thanks for linking up to #citytripping

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  3. Fab photos. I loved Avignon! We went in mid September a few years back so didn’t feel too touristy at all. A wonderful place to wander around, eat and drink some fabulous wines! Thanks for taking me back to a great trip and linking to #citytripping

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  4. I cringed at your statement of travelers VS tourist because I really do hate that comparison as if one is better than the other. Anyway, I’ve spent a couple of days a few summers back in the South of France and for no particular reason, I missed to visit Avignon. Such a shame as it looks oh so lovely!

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    1. I guess it is very stereotipical of me 😉 In my native language there is only one word for both tourists and travelers…
      Some of my friends skipped Avignon too, in their opinion they preferred to go off in search of the smaller towns. I really enjoyed my time there though 🙂 Do you have a favourite place in the South of France?

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great post and photos. I’m going to the south of France in the fall and was thinking of skipping Avignon, but you may have just tempted me to roam around for a bit. Also, the break down of giant tour buses would greatly ease the crush of the take-a-photo-hurry-on-to-the-next-site type of tourists that can be so annoying.

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  6. Love the post! The day we went the Mistral was blowing, my husband got grit under his contact lens and we didn’t see as much as we’d have liked.

    Thanks for following my blog – I really appreciate it!

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