Friday, 14 December 2012

Sur le Pont d'Avignon...

Thursday 13 December

... l'on y danse, l'on y danse...  Well, dancing on the bridge in Avignon might not quite have been the plan, but we had meant to at least visit it today.  We got up early, because the drive to Avignon is over 2-1/2 hours, but before we were halfway it started to rain and it looked like it wouldn't let up in a hurry.  On the contrary, it looked more threatening towards the south, so we made a pit stop at a picnic area somewhere past Montélimar.  Toilet stops in France are not very pleasurable.  Toilets mostly are dirty and without paper and today both of us had the other one waiting outside, because the doors could either not be closed or locked.  However, if one has to go one has to go...

We had a thermos flask with coffee in the car, so it made for a nice stop as we were able to get something hot into us.

Then we turned around with the plan to take a different road home and perhaps stop on the way if we would see something of interest.  We came down along the east bank of the Rhône and returned along the west bank.  A more scenic route altogether.

Crossing the river Rhône

The Tower of Crest

When we cross back to the east bank of the river we look for a different road back home instead of the motorway and decide on a route via Crest, a bit to the east of the river.  From there we should be able to drive home via Romans-sur-Isère.  When we get close to the town a large tower looms in the distance.   It looks quite interesting and it's about lunch time, so we park the car near the town centre and walk across the bridge over the river Drôme in search of the Office de Tourism and a restaurant.  Since a lot of shops, and thus the tourist office too, are often closed during lunch time we go in search of a restaurant first.  On the way we are so unfortunate as to have to stop of at a toilet again, with the same abhorrent result as before.  Luckily the streets and sights are interesting enough, so we quickly forget about that ordeal.

In the rue de la Republique we discover a few small restaurants which offer a variety a foods, and we settle on La Ripaille.  The owner speaks a smattering of English and is very enthusiastic when he finds out that we are from Australia.  Two of his friends are there, he says, and he would like to go too one day. He also provides us with some information as what to see in le département de Drôme.  Very kind.

We order a dish with a variety of foods like: fries, fine meats, anti pasta, green salad and cheese, accompanied by a glass of wine, and of course we finish the meal with a cup of coffee:

Plat du jour: Assiette Dégustation


After this, once again, delicious meal we walk to the tourist office where we receive more information about the town and immediate area.  Since it's not the tourist season the Tower is closed, but we can walk up anyway to admire the views.  This is what we do and on the way we discover that a large part of the town consists of narrow streets, up and down, and under the houses.  Some of the little streets are so narrow that two people cannot walk abreast.

My pet hate: graffiti everywhere!

Climbing towards The Tower - Looking up...

...and looking down

View over the roofs of the town


...and higher we climb

And down we go...

Yes, these are real streets...

...and there really live people here

Crossing the river  Drôme on the way back

Back at the parking lot

On the way home again
That's all for today folks.  Have a good one! :-)


  1. Weet je dat in Montelimar een poppenhuismuseum zit??? Ben er jaren geleden geweest, het is niet zo groot maar wel leuk om te zien!
    Mooie stad hebben jullie bezocht en ja...die wc's...brrrr! Helaas kom je die hurkwc's nog erg vaak tegen in Frankrijk!

  2. Oh Margriet, jammer dat ik dat niet geweten heb. Was mooi geweest voor een regenachtige dag! :-) Nou ja, we zien wel. Misschien komen we nog een keer in de buurt van Montélimar. En de wc's buiten beschouwing gelaten, de plaatsjes hier in de omtrek en ook de omgeving zijn/is allemaal schitterend. Mooi in de winter, maar in de zomer ook prachtig met de lavendelvelden, lijkt mij.

  3. Zo stom dat ik er niet eerder aan gedacht heb...maar ik herinnerde het me pas toen ik de naam Montélimar zag :-(
    Ik ben een keer in juni in die omgeving geweest, ook erg mooi, beetje te warm en helaas was er nog maar een zweem paars te zien op de lavendelvelden! Ik wil zo graag nog een keer naar die omgeving als de lavendel echt bloeit..dat lijkt me prachtig!!!


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