Monday, April 4, 2016
Well, this is the second time I have written this blog, but I will do it just for you. Now I am typing it on my phone, but we will see how it goes. We are not able to post photos now (goodness knows why. Computers are stupid). So..... Unfortunately, we are suspending blogging after this post until we get home on Sunday. Sorry. I promise I will update when we get back with appropriate pictures, but aim spending most of the day blogging and not out there in Paris. So. Sorry! We will keep those of you on Facebook updated because that miraculously seems to work.
On Friday at 11:00 Martin Lambert picked us up in Avignon and brought us to his beautiful home in Vaison la Romaine. Martin (and his wife Patricia) are the grandparents of Vicky Agromeyer who was a foreign exchange student at Maquoketa Valley High School last year. Through Doug and Sarah Tuetken we became friends of Vicky and consequently her parents and grandfather, Martin when they came for high school graduation. Long story short, we hit it off and Martin invited us to visit he and his wife Patricia's home when we were in france. So we did.
They have a home on the outside of town slightly that is on a hillside overlooking the town, the castle and the mountains. Beautiful!
Vaison la Romaine is a small town (6,000 pop) in the Valcluse region of Provence. Beautiful!!!! and the home of some very interesting and well preserved Roman and medieval ruins. You know us and ruins! We are all over them. It was a cloudy cool Friday when Martin picked us up, which made he and Patricia sad but we had a great time anyway.
Martin had prepared a lovely lunch of grilled fish, appetizers, veggies, and apple tart when we got there. and wine....of course, wine. After sleeping off the wine we set off to see some of the town. There are two distinct sites, the upper town which is medieval (11th cent) and the Roman ruins in the flat part which date back from the 1st century. There is a section that was a shopping street from Roman times, a very posh 5,000 sq. meter home, and the roman arena which seats 6,000.
There is also a great museum for displaying discoveries of everyday life, like oil lamps, dishes,
mosaic tile floors, building tools etc. Very interesting and one of the clearest and most well preserved sites we have been to, including Italy.
After a lovely fire in the fireplace and a game of chess, we slept.
Next morning we were up and ready to go see more ruins. Martin had fixed a lovely chicken curry dish for lunch and then Jerry and he explored the upper medieval town. You really need to be a mountain goat for this part, as the town was built for defensive purposes at about a 30% grade. It certainly defended against me. I did not try to invade.
Sunday we got up to a lovely breakfast and then packed our trusty suitcases again. Martin and Patricia took us back to Avignon to catch the TVG to Paris. The TVG is the bullet train and goes about 180 mph when it is really going. Amazing! 400 miles in a little over 2 hours.
When we arrived at Gard Lyon (Paris train station on the south side of the city) we noticed a hightend security everywhere. We jumped into a cab and had a frustratingly slow drive across town because of a marathon being run in the city. But we made it!
We are staying our last week here in Donald Drapeau's apartment near the Arc du Triomphe. We have been here several times before, and each time feel like we are home. We went out for a quick supper on the corner and then to bed. Nice to be here again.
Well, now you are caught up. Our visit to Vaison was an unexpected highlight thanks to Martin and Patricia. They are both so gracious, we loved sharing their home and little town with them. Looks like we will have to come back.
This week is hang out in Paris week and then home on Sunday. I will try to post a couple more times, but I am missing my laptop on which to do it. Doing a blog on my phone is frustrating to say the least. Thanks for following! A bientot (that means see you soon).