Time flies, doesn’t it?! It’s almost the end of August and I didn’t realise that I was stalling my “mum and daughter road trip” chronicle for such a long time. During the unusually hot summer, I was putting it off because I was exhausted from the heat – so was Bella, by the way. She ended up having a heat related stomach upset and ended up receiving a (costly) medical attention! After the heat had gone, I increased the intensity of my daily exercise, and again, ended up feeling too exhausted from it. It came to a point that I started to have telltale signs of over exercising such as sleeplessness, lack of appetite and motivation, forgetfulness, etc, and I had to stop everything physical until I felt better. Now, I am my normal self again and full of energy. So there is no reason why I shouldn’t start my travelogue.
After hopping on a Baladine bus at La Place Saint-Didier, mum and I headed to Avignon’s most famous tourist, Palais des Papes.
The mini-bus passed the famous les Halles d’Avignon…
We caught a glimpse of the hanging Garden of the market. ‘Oh mum, we must return here tomorrow!’, I gushed as I craned my neck to get a better look of the building.
I can remember exactly where we alighted the bus but it must have been around Hôtel la Mirande…
We found ourselves facing a tall stone wall and a path which was only wide enough for one car. The people around us were following the path, therefore, we decided to do likewise.
The path was rather steep but soon, we reached to the end of it and found ourselves at the mouth of a cavernous square.
‘Let’s visit the palace before it gets busy, mum!’, I hurried mum towards the entrance of the palace which was located on top of the stone stairs.
Luckily, it was Friday and the queue at a ticket office was not long.
After purchasing our tickets, we picked up an interactive exhibition guide in the shape of an iPad each and started to follow the route.
Between 1309 and 1376, seven successive popes lived and reigned at Avignon which was then a part of the Holy Roman Empire.
The first pope who moved the court in Rome to the city was Clement V, the newly elected French pope, Clement V.
In the middle of the each room, there was a sort of charging point for the interactive tablet.
You place the tablet over the screen which is mounted on the short plinth, voila!, the tablet is ready to show you the sceneries of the room in the 14th century!
There were some architectural models of the palace.
Some rooms were partly restored so the visitors could imagine how the life in the palace was like.
Once upon a time, the ceiling was richly decorated with beautiful fresco so the popes and his guests felt grand and cozy.
The room was divided with partitions constructed from pieces of timber and richly woven textile.
Large fire used to roar in the huge fire place.
Money and treasures which were donated by the kings and the pilgrims were kept in the basement of the palace. The door to the bookkeeper’s room looked formidable and made me imagine how the money and wealth was important to the popes…
After visiting the exhibition, we decided to have lunch at a café on the roof.
While we munched on panini, we could enjoy a bird’s eye view of the squares below from the windows of the eatery.
Now, we are visiting the famous Bridge of Avignon!