Avignon to Nice and Sorrento (excerpt)

Avignon to Nice
From Paris I took an overnight train to Toulon with connecting trains to Marseilles and on to Avignon. Unlike precise trains of years ago, all were running late and I missed my last connection arriving in Avignon an hour later than expected. Luckily the tourist information office was very helpful and soon found me a hotel room close by for 50 Euro. I settled in and went off exploring. Avignon was the Papal city in the 14th century so it is obligatory to see inside which I found a bit disappointing even though it looks impressive from the outside. Photos cannot be taken inside even though the papal chambers are quite grand but not near as impressive as the Vatican of course.  Around the Papal Palace and gardens are the basilica, a unique set of monuments, the ramparts and the famous Pont Saint Brieve bridge which extends halfway across the river and abruptly ends. Avignon is also worth visiting just to see the interesting architecture, town centre including shops and I also visited two musems – the Reqium museum which is an excellent natural history museum with a good collection of real looking stuffed wolves and other local fauna from Valcluse and a fossil and mineral collection. The other museum; being the Jaen Vilar house has publications of the works of Jean Vilar from 1912 to 1971 and the history of the Avignon festival that began in 1947. Avignon is one of the few towns in France that I had not been to before and I am glad I finally got here. To read more, why not buy my book?. It covers my travels all over the world during the last 4 decades.

from the book Travel in a Changing World available from this website

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