Saturday, June 19, 2010

Avignon: Pope-ing it up

Joy in our favorite restaurant in Avignon, Le Petit Bedon--our best meal of the whole trip was our first one! If you're ever in Avignon, go there. You won't be disappointed. It's just the type of place you hope to find in Provence--intimate, affordable, and delicious local dishes and wines--plus, no super weird stuff! haha.
We were actually looking for a Rick Steves recommendation when we stumbled upon this instead, on a quiet side street. We had the resto to ourselves for lunch and for the best meal I've ever had, I paid 15 euros, plus an extra tip (generally you don't tip in Europe cause it's already included, but if you have really good food/service, you leave a little something). The waiter was really nice and the chef brought out our meals himself! We shared a demi-bouteille (half bottle) of some amazing rose wine from the area and we both got one of the plats du jour--salmon for Joy and (what I later found out was) guinea fowl for me (some sort of bird) with cherries and a risotto of a local grain mixed with spices on the side, complete with a roasted garlic clove (sooooo delicious). I can still taste it. I even went back there on my last night (went back to Avignon at the end b/c it's the easiest place to connect with Paris). Joy would have come too, but she got sick and went home a day early :(

View of the Pope's Palace across the Rhone. This is Avignon's main claim to fame--in the 1300-1400s, the Popes moved from Rome to Avignon, which was actually owned by the Vatican until the French Revolution (1789). On my last day I took a bus across the river to climb the Tower of Philippe le Bel (located in Villeneuve-Lez-Avignon, the "French" side, built to control access to France) for this lovely view.
Our arrival in Provence! Just leaving the Avignon train station, still laden with our backpacks.

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