Friday, November 16, 2007

Welcome to France!

Next we travelled past Cannes, the site of the famous Film Festival and through Aix En Provence, where Vincent Van Gogh and Gaughan lived and worked. Van Gogh painted his famous picture, "Field of Sunflowers" here. We saw the inspiration as we passed dozens of sunflower "farms" if you will, grown to be harvested to make sunflower oil. The site was breathtaking!

Avignon is a most interesting city. It is well known for the Papal Palace where the Popes resided for much of the 14th century. It is gothic in style, and the square is surrounded with walls that are over 10 feet thick! I imagine it was quite a fortress in its time. St. Benezet Bridge (Pont d'Avignon) originally spanned the Rhone River, but has suffered numerous collapses over the years. It was still exciting to see the bridge made famous by the song, "Sur le pont d'Avignon" which describes dancing on the bridge.

Today, the area is filled with street artisans, mimes, bistros, musicians and the like. It was a fun place to ramble around. We bought this little wire elephant for our collection.

Moving on, we found ourselves in the heart of the Burgundy region, in the city of Beaune. Here again, we see the narrow streets, carvings on the buildings, and elaborate roofs with spires. Mostly a shopping district, we browse before heading to our hotel after a very long day.

Next: Our last stop, Paris!

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