Monday, February 9, 2009

Travel Radar: Palais des Papes

Hello Blog World!

I told you there was more coming soon and here I am, with details and current pictures as promised!

The primary reason for our trip to Avignon was to see the Palais des Papes, or the Palace of the Popes. This place was apparently uber popular back in the 14th century. Since the architecture around here is so incredibly beautiful and gothic, Stuart and I wanted to post some photos we took around Avignon. We hope you enjoy them....

Thoughts on the palace:

1. Cold. Extremely, stupidly cold.

2. Huge.

3. These guys were living the life. Today, lots of Christians and religious people kind of have the whole "vow of poverty" thing going on. These popes didn't have an issue with this. Though the walls are mostly bare now, they were covered with ornate tapestries and tiles when they ruled. The pope's bedchamber was ridiculously nice, with gorgeous frescoes painted by the finest artists money could buy. They had huge gardens and even personal zoos, where they kept animals like lions, peacocks, stables of deer, etc. They had tons of power and mucho dinero my friends. All of this information leads me to my next thought....

4. I think I'd make a good pope....

All joking aside, the palace was extremely interesting and there wasn't a lot of security, which means Stuart and I acted a lot sillier than we normally would have....

Stuart was going for the Quasimodo look, too bad we weren't at Notre Dame! Still, I guess that makes me Esmeralda. Not dark, gypsy Esmeralda mind you. No, this is the fair, over eager, touristy Esmeralda with museum audio phone. If there had been problems with security, I could have wonked them over the head with this clunker...

Here are some shots of the palace and surrounding courtyard. Notice the hot young man in one of the pictures. That would be my husband......

The bell tower at the palace. Very beautiful and very old.

The view of Palais des Papes. This picture really can't capture how enormous this courtyard and the castle were. It took us hours to walk through (listening to the audio guides) and we still didn't see all of it!

I love, love, love this picture of Stuart going up the castle stairs. It was such a random shot. I just said "Smile!" and he did, and it turned out to be the best picture of the whole day!

*Sigh* I love old things! This window was so breathtaking, I couldn't resist snapping a couple of pictures of it. This was on the inner wall of the palace in a courtyard we walked through. Note the details in this stone! They don't make 'em like this anymore!

Me in a courtyard...profound.

After the palace, Stuart and I decided to have something to eat at a nearby cafe and then to set off down the cobblestone streets to see what we could see. The cafe? Not so much. Our waiter was extremely rude and careless. It was the very first rude French person we've met, and it was almost too much for our hearts to bear. But! Why focus on the bad? Afterward, to my surprise and delight, we stumbled upon the shopping district. We went in perfume shops, linen shops (which actually smelled better than the perfume shops!), and even in a gourmet bakery shop where we picked out delicious gourmet cookies resting in overflowing baskets (we chose chocolate, coconut, and then one that was a cinnamon, lemon mix. Yum!)

Then Stuart (being the sweetheart he is) took me shopping for clothes! Yay! He is always so generous and knows that girls love to look and buy that sort of thing. He even patiently waited while I picked out everything, held the clothes, and waited for me outside the dressing room. I am so blessed to have such a patient man for my husband!

Here are a couple more pictures of the shopping area:

I loved this old theatre. It was so huge and majestic looking. I mean, I'd go see a play there...

And now, perhaps most importantly of all.....

Yes people, McDonald's is one step away from world domination.....

Also, all my sisters-in-law will surely recognize the store to the left we all know and love....and never ever shop at at all....right girls?

All in all, a very fun trip.

Until our next journey,


  1. Wow! That looks amazing! You'd make a great Esmeralda, though, while I love Quasimodo, he might be just a bit too good-looking to really capture the feeling. :-)


  2. PS "He" meaning Stuart. I have trouble proofreading at 7:00 in the morning. ;-)


  3. I think these pictures are great. Some of them look really professional. What a lovely, charming place!

    I love when you just "snap" a photo and it turns out to be jsut awesome! The picture that Jonathan & I ended up including in our wedding invites was one like that, where we just asked my 8 year old cousin to take real quick!

  4. These pictures bring back so many memories of living in France! Its all so European and fun! The weather is so familiar too... wet and cold! I am so glad to see yall are having fun! Have a happy V-day!


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