The whole affair began so very quietly. When I wrote, that summer, and asked my friend Louise if she would come with me on a car trip to Provence, I had no idea that I might be issuing an invitation to danger. And when we arrived one afternoon, after a hot but leisurely journey, at the enchanting little walled city of Avignon, we felt in that mood of pleasant weariness mingled with anticipation which marks, I believe, the beginning of every normal holiday. . . .
|Sur le Pont d'Avignon|
|The Palace of Popes|
|Looking down at the famous square beneath the Palace of the Popes from Avignon Cathedral|
We were extremely sad that it was raining (although we looked quite dashing in our new Viking windbreakers) but our guide, Marc, was very good. First, he took us to the famous Pont d’Avignon, the famous medieval bridge made famous by the song, built in the 12th century connecting the two banks of the Rhône. He even sang for us! He dealt well with some of the less mobile members of the group who were having issues with the wet cobblestones. One woman named Judy refused to walk any farther and he patiently settled her on a chair in a café where she would be fairly dry and said we’d come back for her after our tour. She got tired of waiting and went to the Avignon tourism office to complain he had abandoned her! I think some of the passengers on our ship possess the desire to travel but have physical limitations they aren’t willing to acknowledge. We had breakfast with Judy later in the week and she turned out to be pleasantly curmudgeonly and her friend Chris had gone to Wellesley with one of my father’s girlfriends before my mother. You never know what you’ll find out over chocolate croissants!
|From the window where the Pope addressed the people|