To celebrate the 11-year anniversary of when we first met, Jeff and I took a delightful three-day getaway to Avignon March 16-18 2019.

We fell in love with Avignon! All of the walled city’s tan-colored buildings are amazingly tidy and clean; it has tiny, crooked, cobbled alleyways and dozens of squares, small and large, most of which have restaurants with outdoor seating; it sits along the mighty Rhône river; everything you want to see is within an easy walk; it was home to the popes from 1309 – 1417 and still has the Palace of the Popes (Palais des Papes) to prove it; and is home to the beloved old Bridge of Avignon (Pont d’Avignon), made famous by the 15th century children’s song “Sur la pont d’Avignon, l’on y danse, l’on y danse” “On the bridge of Avignon, we will dance, we will dance…”

March was the perfect time to visit – no crowds, mild weather (highs from the 50s – 70s); the blue skies of Provence; great prices.

Day 1 (Saturday March 16)

Here are a few photos of our first day in this lovely city.

Train from Carcassonne to Avignon – (2.5 hours), Arrived at 11:30 – just in time for lunch. Below is a photo of the Agricol Perdiguier Park, steps away from Avignon’s train station.

Below: Lunch along a tributary of the River Sorgue (it’s actually a small canal, with one remaining 200-year-old water wheel of the original 23.)

We chose restaurant Art E Gusto for pizza and the lamb plat de jour (meal of the day).

Below: Rick Steve’s “Welcome to Avignon” walk past the Palais des Papes

Below: Up the hill to the Jardin du Rocher des Doms (stunning park atop a rock cliff), with beautiful views looking down on the Rhône river (one of Europe’s major rivers) and the famous Bridge of Avignon (Pont d’Avignon)

Below: Down to the famous bridge (formally known as St. Bénezet Bridge), which we toured with their audio guide (Cost: Combo ticket for the bridge and the Papal Palaces, for me, €14.50, for Jeff, €11.50. Also sold separately, but combo’s a much better value.)

(What history!! Built between 1177 and 1185, the bridge originally had 23 arches! When built, it was one of only a few bridges across the mighty Rhône. It started falling apart in the 1220s and was rebuilt many times. In 1668 the city gave up on rebuilding it. The bridge’s remaining four arches and chapel are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.)

Below: Dinner outside on Place de Châtaignes (Chestnut Square) – we actually found dinner (lasagna, a ham and cheese crepe, salads – and a wonderful bottle of white wine) at 5:30 pm! (It’s not easy to find something that resembles dinner at 5:30 in France.) We chose restaurant La Pause Gourmande – charming setting and service.

Below: Evening walk to see what the town looks like at night.

Below: Our home for the weekend: Hotel Medieval. Excellent location, great price, very friendly staff. Bed and pillows are not so comfortable, but for €65 a night, it’s a great choice, and we’ll stay there again.