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2012-Jun-3 - France Trip 2012 - Sixth Day in Avignon (Sunday)
Somehow we managed to go to bed at 1.00 in the morning so we were up very late and eventually sought out breakfast at 10.00 am.

After this, we went to check on the car and spent half an hour wandering around the car park checking the physical streets against Google Maps so we would know how to leave Avignon without being tricked by any one way streets.

Back in our hotel room we checked out the route plan to visit Gordes (recommended by the couple we chatted to yesterday).

With a plan in mind, a road map in our pockets, my mobile and spare battery all charged up we gingerly drove the car out of the multi level car park.

Linda was still freaking out every time we went around a tight turn but eventually we were out on the N7, the D900 and the D2 until we reached Gordes.

I had no idea of what to expect.

In my mind I thought we might find a pleasant little town next to a river.

As we approached the town we were astonished to find a panorama of buildings clinging to a cliff face.

All were built out of the same stone - in fact the town sat upon layer upon layer of the strata.

This town was built from the rock on which it sat.

Pulling in to the first carpark we encountered we paid 3 Eur for the privelege and then walked about 500 m in to town.

The strangest aspect of this town was it was looking in on itself - almost as if the sweeping vistas of the hill side frightened the residents and they wished to pretend that they were living on flat ground.

I spotted only one or two cafes that looked out on to the country side.

There was also a very swish hotel that completely took advantage of its location.

However, I doubt that they would have tolerated scruffs such as us.

We went from café to café only to be told that they were closed for the next two hours or until 7.00 pm

The French disease strikes again.

Finally we found a new looking café next to the town fountain and the tourist centre.

The two waiters had a completely different air about them from any other café we had encountered.

I suspect that they were in fact the owners.

We ordered grilled pork steaks with vegetables.

This turned out to be the most delicious meal we have eaten in all of France.

The bill was also the biggest we have encountered in all our time here - a true heart stopper (we went without dinner to make up for it).

We could see rain coming in and we wanted to return home to do our laundry so we decided it was time to head back to the car.

As a slight diversion we decided to walk about a kilometre back along the entrance road to attempt to photograph the initial stunning views we encountered as we entered the town.

I managed to take a number of acceptable photographs but eventually stepped over a low level chain in order to take one last image.

As I stepped back on to the pedestrian path I forgot about the chain and came crashing to the ground on my left hand and right knee.

I think I have hyperextended my left thumb and sprained my right thigh muscle.

I still seem to bounce reasonably well when I fall over but with more collateral damage as I get older.

Tonight I'm feeling very sorry for myself and I think I will be stiff and limping for the next 3 days.

All I can say is "Silly Tony"

Google Maps on my mobile phone guided us back to the parking tower quite well but one thing that the route planner could not predict was the presence of a remote controlled bollard on the last street of its directions.

I managed to navigate Linda around this obstruction and we ended up exactly where I was hoping we would arrive.

As we left the mulit level car park the dark ominous clouds that we previously observed in the west manifested themselves as heavy rain.

We had no option but to walk back through it and get soaked.

We must have looked a real sight when we presented ourselves at the reception desk - both of us dripping a puddle of water on the floor and me limping with a bloodied knee on my trousers.

Then up to our room for a quick hot shower and a change in to dry clothes.

We had planned to go to the laundromat tonight but what with me falling over and the heavy rain we feel like we have been in the wars a little - so we are staying put, watching television, reading books and updating our web pages.


The town of Gordes

Inside the town

My bloodied knee