Sunday was a day of antiques -- walled cities, ancient structures, castles, churches, art. We started after breakfast by parking within the walls of old Avignon, where we toured the papal palace, which is pretty amazing; parts are in major disrepair after the buildings were used as barracks during the early part of the last century, but the size of the place and the magnificence of the still-decorated and restored rooms is hard to miss. We left the French popes to visit Pont du Gard, site of part of an ancient Roman aqueduct and a museum on Roman ruins in the region. We had crepes for lunch there and walked across the river along the Nîmes aqueduct.
Then we drove to Tarascon to visit the Église Sainte-Marthe, named for another woman who knew Jesus personally, came to France after his death, and is famous for taming a local monster with holy water. We also saw the imposing Chateau de Tarascon with its moat and representation of the monster! We finished the day in Arles, where to our disappointment Van Gogh's Cafe de Nuit was closed since it's the off season for tourists, but we got to see some spots where Van Gogh painted as well as some of the Roman ruins, plus we found a little cafe that stayed open late to serve us wine plus excellent bread and cheese concoctions!
Inside the Papal Palace, home and center of both spiritual life and commerce to the French popes (and later the anti-Popes for those who supported Rome).
There are several courtyards and chambers in various states of reconstruction after the buildings were used as barracks once the
We drove across the Rhône to see the walled city and its towers rising above the river.
Here is Paul below the famous aqueduct at Pont du Gard.
And here are both of us a little less than halfway across it.
This is the moat of the castle at Tarascon, the town where Saint Martha tamed a monster.
Here we are within the walls of Arles at the amphitheatre...
...and outside on the riverbank where Van Gogh painted Starry Night Over the Rhone.