The Arctic front brought cold air to the south of France today. The day before was warm and sunny. Today cold and rainy. A perfect day to spend indoors in the Palace of the Popes, Palais des Papes, in Avignon. In the 14th Century for various geopolitical reasons, the papacy was moved from Rome to Avignon and for over 100 years nine successive popes lived in Avignon, where over time, the residence for the Papacy and its government offices for the church was built. Today, the buildings remain, but the walls are mostly bare. The movement of the papacy back to Rome, fires, the French Revolution and neglect stripped the building’s interiors of their former glory. What remains is still impressive. The palace is large and was built to convey the strength of the church. The palace is in the city of Avignon which is completely surrounded by a medieval wall and towers. You have stepped back in time when you go through the gates into the city and even more so as you approach the palace area.
After several hours in the Palace and our minds bursting with information we did not know about papal government and medieval times and chilled to the bone from the wind and rain, when we walked from the palace to the ancient bridge over the River Rhone that partially collapsed several hundred years ago, we decided it was time for a very late lunch. We found this wonderful restaurant that had an open fire going and we took a table right beside it. The warmth was wonderful. Kathy ate pumpkin soup and roasted aubergines (egg plant) with balsamic pureed tomatoes. I ate jambon-fromage omelette. I found a great mild rose from France that I recommend. Kathy took a picture so that we can find it someday. WEG