Au Revoir Paris - Headed for Provence!

Trip Start May 18, 2007
Trip End Jul 18, 2007

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hello all:

Au Revoir to Paris and Bon Jour to Avignon!

Our wake up call was an early 5:00am and we packed quickly and caught our taxi for the Gare Lyon train station to catch our 7:20am TGV, bullet train, to Avignon in the South of France - Provence region.
This train is all that they talk about - lightening fast, ripping down the tracks at 186mph! We think we saw Ryan's hair fly and it will certainly make your toes curl! We felt like we had barely sat down in our seats and before we knew it, the conductor was announcing our stop in Avignon! Laurie was napping as the train mickey hit her hard, Ryan was playing around with pictures because we actually had a power source on this TGV - cool!

We arrived at 9:57am and headed off to the Les hotel de l'horloge, unloaded our gear and off to explore the back door of Avignon! Our original plans were to stay at the Hotel Garlande - that did not work out very well. We arrived to the hotel and there was an unusually cross-eyed woman at the front desk who did not speak any English and did not appear to have a room reservation for us. Thankfully, there was a nice couple leaving the hotel who spoke English and translated for this woman - it did not help though. The manager, Michele (Sammy/Karl/Jill - you would remember Michele except this trip she had quite the attitude!), drove down to the hotel as she was not at work yet, and told us that our email with credit card information from 10pm the night before was not good enough! She promptly called her friends down the street and she walked us to our Hotel de l'horloge, which turned out to be beautiful, WITH a lift, wireless connectivity, spacious and clean accommodations.

We walked around Avignon for a bit after lunch and checked into the hotel - and took a good long nap! That trip to Mont St. Michel whipped us and we were beat so the nap was worthwhile!

The rest did us good and we headed off to see the town of Avignon and loved the lack of crowds and wide open spaces with no traffic. Avignon is a very old walled city with heavy cobble-stoned streets, making for a nice wander.

We grabbed a couple of panini's and headed for our room to wait for the sun to set and loaded up our tripods for some photo's along the Rhone River. We hope you enjoy them.

Tomorrow we are trying something totally new - we are getting behind the wheel of a Hertz rental car (manual shift Peugot!) with plans to visit the lavender fields, Gordes, Rousillon and several other small towns along the way, including the L'Occotaine factory!!

More posting tomorrow night with what is sure to be an interesting adventure on the roads of Provence!

Today's walk: 7.3 miles
Total for the journey (143 miles, 26 days)

Ryan and Laurie
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