Monday, November 2, 2009

Pt.15 Avignon - Ou e La River Boat?

Pt.15 - Newly Arrived in Avignon - Heading for the River Boat

Link to Pt.1 of this series

You think asking for directions will help? HAHAHAHA!
We reached Avignon station. The train disembarked on the left side, and we got our bags off, and then the next challenge would be getting out of there. The station “sortie” was above us. We shared a very narrow elevator with an Englishman and our baggage. Emerging into the exit area, I waited with the bags, because Joyce wanted to get directions to the center of town, to the tourist bureau, and to the river port where our ship would be waiting. She returned, pointed toward town, and we headed that way. An ancient building had a sign having the word “tourisme” in it, and it was closed because today was Saturday, and they were only open until noon. We went on, looking for alternatives, and Joyce didn’t think that the old building matched the directions she had gotten at the train station. She was right. We hadn’t gone far enough to reach the real tourism office. We rolled our suitcases into a large area looking like a town square, but half the area was taken up by a parking lot. On the opposite side of the square was a large building with numerous storefronts. The tourist office was supposed to be on the right-hand side. Not wanting to take all of the suitcases down and back again, Joyce stayed with the luggage, and I went down the side of the building. It was like a strip mall, most of the stores were closed. At the end of the strip was a sex shop, which looked open. I didn’t check.

We find the Tourisme in spite of the directions
Returning, we let Joyce try her hand at “hide the tourisme”, and she came upon the office, in a large building that looked like a bank. She went in, while I stayed outside with the bags. We were in Avignon. It was a busy village. Across the street was a large open outdoor cafe. European disco music was coming from the cafe, and the occupants were having a boisterous good time. Down the street, I could see other stores, a building that said “Monoprix” on a sign hanging from the second floor. We never got to explore that one.

Highlighter! Now we know where we're going!
Joyce emerged with a map, with our proposed route to the ship outlined with a highlighter. Joyce is against maps, because, who can read them. But with pink highlighter on it, a map is ok, as long as the directions are spelled out in terms of going right and left, instead of north and south. Following her directions, we decided to walk the six blocks, rather than take a taxi or bus. She really would have liked to take the bus, but I just wasn’t up for the adventure. Well, well, we soon learn, that adventures are not optional things — you would have them when the time came. There was no choice.

SSDD - Jolly Times in Avignon!
The sidewalks began to narrow, and the pavement to get rougher. All sidewalks started to go uphill. There are relatively few streets in Avignon, compared to Paris, but it still seemed like we were lost when we got to the Rue Victor Hugo. It seemed like we had gone too far — we turned back a few times, and re-traced our steps. Then we asked someone at a sidewalk cafe for directions, and found that we were within sight of the river port. We were still a long way off. The city is walled, and to get to the river, one had to go through a gate.

Jay Walking on the Freeway

Once through the gate, there is an almost-freeway between you and the river, with only one crossing. We didn’t find the crossing. We dragged the suitcases through a gravel parking lot, causing the wheels to seize up. We pulled like oxen, got to the road. Since there was no marked crossing in sight, we took our chances at some dangerous jay-walking. First one lane, then along the median until crossing and we’ll be at that boat that looked like the one in the picture.

Thanks for listening and contributing. For up-to-the-minute thoughts, come on over to I'm @dimbulb52

1 comment:

Leslie Hanna said...

Good gawd, people! You two could write the book on my own travels in Europe. This is hysterical.

Word Verification: cracal. As in Snap, cracal and Pop.