Day 12 – Sunday 19 June 1994 – Chateauneuf du Pape, Avignon, Arles, St Remy and Les Baux
Not too bad a night at the hotel. Shower forceful as usual but handheld as usual. At least it was in our room. But no toilet in our room this time. That was shared and down the hallway. Thank god also no bidet in the room.
Sunshine was gorgeous as usual. We were out at 9.15am sitting outside a cafe in the sun having a café. Wonderful! Had a sumptuous breakfast of strawberries, bananas, muesli and yoghurt while we did our washing.
Headed off to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Most famous Provence red wine made there. Delightful village.
Sampled wine. It was great. Bought half a bottle for 34F. Walked up to a ruined abbey. Great views.
Back down in the village we had a glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wine in the beautiful gardens of La Mere Germaine bar and restaurant. Had a dish of delicious olives to go with it. Broke my heart that we were too full to eat lunch there. Want to go back.
On the way out of Châteauneuf-du-Pape had to use one of ‘those’ toilets in desperation. One of the most disgusting experiences of my life. Standing in a toilet bay the size of a shower bay with crap and toilet paper everywhere. How can these be a good thing?? Ran out shrieking back to the car where i changed clothes and wiped myself down with Wet Ones. Yuck!! Doubly traumatic to experience it in such a beautiful village and after such a nice experience.
Drove to Avignon. Waste of time. Read that it has the third highest crime rate per capita in France. Very seedy. Full of tourists. A walled medieval city. Tried to do a walk out of the Collins book but got lost. Not much to see anyway. Couldn’t wait to get out.
After Avignon drove to Arles to see Van Gogh territory. Nothing left. Another seedy town. Avignon felt dangerous. Arles was just yucky. Saw a nearly completed amphitheatre (Les Arènes). Not bad. Walked around a bit then left.
Drove to St Remy where Van Gogh was in the asylum. Lovely town, walked around looking for accommodation but a bit expensive.
Drove through Alpilles (little alps) to Les Baux to have a look.
Found accommodation with a pool for 210F. Lovely house. Room feels luxurious. Has got a nice shower! No toilet. That was another 35F.
Walked up to a ruined castle city. Absolutely gorgeous. Whole village is very neat and proud. Every corner and nook was beautiful. Views great. Very Van Goghish. Olive groves etc.