I was talking to Dad on Father’s Day – when I was in the very early stages of planning my trip – and asked whether he’d been to Marseilles. I’d made the rookie mistake of looking at all the big cities between Paris and Venice and thought I’d stay in them … Marseilles, Genoa, Milan.
Dad said, “Have you thought about Avignon?”. I hadn’t, but that got me thinking about all the things I’d heard about the big cities … they’re dirty, smelly, there’s a feeling that you aren’t really safe. So I took up my magnifying glass and traced the train line south from Paris, found Avignon (not too far from Marseilles), and I changed the focus of my trip. No big cities, but smaller places either side.
Have you been to Avignon? The city within the wall is old (not white Australia old, but old old) and full of narrow twisting streets. I found the Office de Tourisme and saw a poster for a photographique exhibition at the Le Musee Angladon that looked interesting. I wondered out of the office, turned right and saw a sign for the museum, so thought I’d take a look.
The photographic exhibition contained photos from the French photographer known as Nadar and are quite remarkable in their clarity, considering many were taken in the 1880s.
On the ground floor were works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Modigliani, Degas, Manet, Cezanne, Sisley. I love being in France!
Later in the afternoon I took a tour on the Petit Train. What tiny, tiny streets – there’s more than a morning’s walking to be had wandering along them, camera in hand. I’d best get started!
Thanks Dad for suggesting Avignon … it’s my new favourite place in France!