Monday, 28 September 2009

Tour de France: Marseilles, Avignon, Orange

The Chateau D'If, which we visited - location of both The Cou... on TwitpicIle d'If, Marseilles harbour - you can see the city in the di... on Twitpic
Pics: Île d'If, and the view from its top tower which includes Marseilles town
On Saturday we visited the Arles market and bought a few things. At noon we headed for Marseilles where we took a ferry to the Chateau d'If, famous for its role in The Count of Monte Cristo and the Man in the Iron Mask. Back in Arles we went to a different restaurant where a man with a guitar serenaded the guests. I ate lamb followed by a crème caramel.

Sunday: packed up and drove to Nimes, where we briefly viewed the amphitheatre (same as the one in Arles) and the Roman temple dating from the year 2-4 AD. Then at the Pont du Gard, a 2000 year old aqueduct standing high above a river gorge to carry water to Nimes. I climbed partway up the hill on the other side, after which my feet were screeching at me to quit playing tourist already - not from blisters, but pressure fatigue all over the soles, like walking on bruises.

The popes' palace in Avignon, like something out of a fairytale! on TwitpicCycle racing day in Avignon - pipsqueak class!  on Twitpic
Pics: The pope's palace and a pipsqueak cycle race, Avignon

On to Avignon, where we checked into a rather quaint hotel and set off to search out the famous bridge. We ate sandwiches and ice cream and rode a tourist train to the garden on top of the rock, far above the riverside road and the encircling medieval wall - completely intact around the old town area. In the evening the whole group went down the street to a restaurant where we ate soup, chicken with beans, and Ile Flottante. The hotel rooms being air conditioned, I slept very well for over nine hours.

Breakfast was a bit rushed on Monday morning, but we got away at eight and soon visited Orange, with its huge Roman theatre.

Roman theatre in Orange. That thing is BIG! on Twitpic
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