3 ½ hours later and we arrived at Avignon Centre. It was refreshing to step out of the train station and be greeted by sunny Avignon. The place immediately had an inviting and warm feel to it as we walked through the gates into the old town (the main centre of Avignon which is surrounded by a massive wall that runs all the way around it - the old Roman ramparts). After a short five minute walk to our hotel, we couldn’t wait to head back out for a feed and a bit of an explore.
We first had lunch French style, sitting out on the pavement, eating Croque Monsieur (my meal) and Quiche Lorraine (Andrew’s). We topped this off with dessert - I had the best passionfruit ice-cream I’ve ever had with a heap of cream on top of it - it was more than divine! (Passionfruit flavour is my fav and I could eat loads and loads of cream until I was busting at the seams.)
We made the most of our afternoon, taking a long walk around the picturesque old town, seeing Avignon’s main sights - Palace of the Popes and Pont d’Avignon (the ruins of the Avignon bridge).
We then had dinner at one of the many outdoor eateries - the special meal dinners are good for our budget (i.e. get entrée, main and dessert for one special price - cheaper than a la carte). The wine is not bad either! We are not starving in France like we thought we might be - if you choose where you eat carefully, you can eat quite well. And if you’re still hungry, there is always an endless supply of bread coming your way when you eat at a restaurant.
Avignon is definitely much more relaxed than Paris. Whilst we enjoyed our time in Paris it was nice to have a change of pace. We wish we had more time here. We would consider coming back to Avignon for a chill-out holiday if we get the chance again one day.
We got up bright and early at 5.30am - too early for my liking as we didn’t get to bed until after 1am having been out late for our Paris night tour. We headed off to Gare de Lyon station to get the TGV fast train to Avignon. We got a brilliant view of the French country side as the train zipped along, however I only saw bits as I drifted in and out of sleep.