It was stinking hot in Avignon when we were there! No one warned us that the South of France is about 5 degrees warmer than Paris ;) And so, to escape the heat, we went to check out the Palais des Papes, a huge church built in 1335 and housed 9 popes in the 14th century. It’s said to be one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe.
Made out of stone, it provided cool respite and also gave us a very interesting account of the history of the area. The place is massive!! And very high, with a whole ton of stairs. Very cool, though.
The outside of Palais des Papes
Love this pic ;)
Umm it looks like I’m holding a beer bottle, but it’s an audio guide thing!
The internal courtyard, for when they felt like playing football (or something)
Up the top!
Overlooking the city of Avignon
Lots of wee people
A much-deserved ice cream :P
Chilling out at a pond in a park to relax
There’s another famous landmark in Avignon, the Pont Saint-Bénezet aka Pont d’Avignon. It’s a medieval bridge built between 1171 and 1185 and was originally almost 1KM long, but much of it collapsed due to floods. There’s a very interesting story of how and why it was built, you can click on the link above to read about it if you’re interested.
Perfecting my pregnancy-pose ;)
Pont Saint-Bénezet aka Pont d’Avignon.
Standing at the drawbridge
Imagine the effort in building these stone walls!
Dinner was a casual one at L’hermitage, also in Avignon city. We’d passed by at lunch time and they were packed out, so we were keen to try it for dinner. They’re tucked into a little corner and you can eat al fresco, which is lovely when the sun sets and weather cools.
The dishes were thoughtfully presented and had lovely fresh ingredients…. BUT were heavily salted! We noticed this at many restaurants around France – often they put SO much salt in their food that we couldn’t stomach the dish. So strange, because I thought the French take pride in their food and would let the natural flavours come through? At this particular restaurant, they went a little wild and even dumped tons of sea salt on the salads… rendering them quite inedible.
A shame, because we could tell that without the copious amount of salt, the food would otherwise be incredible. Fortunately, the meat wasn’t doused in salt so it was delicious!! Just that the starters and sides were wasted :( We didn’t have dessert because we were worried they’d throw on a ton of salt onto the cakes or something, haha ;)
Relaxing for dinner at L’hermitage
Checking out the menu
Tomato and mozzarella salad – delicious and fresh, except the sprinkled a ton of sea salt on it!
Fries with mayo, special request by yours truly :P
Duck breast with gingerbread sauce, mashed potatoes flavoured with goose fat and veggies
OUTSTANDING. This was cooked perfectly. Except the veggies were SO salty they were inedible.
Cotelettes d’agneau creme au thyn, haricots poele salade
The lambchops were delicious, but both the greens were waaaaay too salted