Saturday, May 13, 2006

A Week in Provence

What an amazing week! I'm not even sure where to start except to say that the train service in France is amazing!! We left on the 13th for a week in Provence, staying at an estate outside of Avignon that was recommended by a collegue of Troy. It was amazing!! The estate Moulin de la Roque was heaven for us: a wonderful terrace off the apartment, acres of green grass just beyond the table, 2 "jump-o-lines" (as Sophia calles them), a great pool, Simba the great big dog, and heat & sunshine beyond anything we have seen in the past 8 months...
We took the TGV to Avignon because it was only 2hours & 40 minutes, but it would have been a 7 hour drive... After another hour waiting for the 1 person in the Europcar office to deal with the 20 people that were in line, we were finally off.
To the main town of Avignon that is, where we saw the Papal Palace, an incredible medi-evil walled structure, and spent a wonderful hour on the square where Troy & I had a great lunch, and watched Sophia run after the pidgeons on the square. She & her Koukla chased a whole pack of the flying rats around & around... They always came back for more though, they must be used to the little children dropping all of their biscuits on the ground. Our lunch was wonderful, and we spent the rest of the afternoon walking into the cathedral, strolling through town in the rain, and avoiding the scene at the carousel. (Sophia loves the horses!)
Over the next week we traveled to Orange, Arles (2 times because we liked in so much), Troy went to Marsailles & the Renault Formula 1 training track, Noves, Chateauneuf du Pape, Aix in Provence (over-rated), St Remy de Provence (market on Wednesdays), Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (amazing market on Sunday mornings), and saw 2 ancient Aquaducts (one from the Romans and one from the 18th century). Afternoons were spent running on the grass, playing the Provencial form of Bacci ball, swimming in the Pool, and enjoying the view of the sunset over the grass - we don't get that much in Paris.
I'll post photos soon, Sophia bloomed while we were there, and it is a joy to watch her confidence as we return to our home...