Friday 21 January 2011
Lady Traveller's Little Sister and I took took a trip to Avignon the other day. It was very misty as we drove along the Autoroute du Soleil (ironic) but happily the sun came out when we got to Avignon and its beautiful walled-cityness. Although I don't look very happy in this picture ...
I told LTLS that we had to go to the Palais des Papes because once upon a long, long time ago I wrote essays about the popes' relocation to Avignon. We wandered around with our audioguides and learned lots about a) popes b) popes' courts c) popes' linens d) popes' banquets (the pope sat by himself at a little table at the top of the room). We concluded that the popes must have been very cold because, well, we were. (You could see your breath in front of you - inside.)
I liked this statue of St Catherine of Siena, who is 'my' saint because my confirmation name is Catherine and I had to write out her biography from the musty Lives of the Saints in our school. She had stigmata, from what I remember, and went on lots of fasts, but more importantly she was very clever and went to Avignon to try to mend the Great Schism. (Which I still, despite writing essays about it, don't really understand. Though I think it has something to do with the Guelfs and the Ghibellines.)
Here's LTLS pretending to be a pope, distributing largesse:
The other famous thing about Avignon - more famous even - is the pont where on danse(s):
The elephant danced:
It was a good day.