Friday, July 12, 2013


The posters à Avignon sont partout, and you mean everywhere.

You do the usual 30 minute drive-around before you find a parking space just outside the ancient Roman wall that used to define the city limits.  Once you step inside the walls you are bombarded with posters, attached with brown string any and everywhere: on walls, railings, bikes, stones, doors . . . if there is a horizontal space, it will have a poster somehow attached to it.  You wander the streets with Phillipe, Reba and Skylar and soon come across Les Halles, the fresh market in the middle of the old town.  If it’s food, and you need it, they have it.  

From there you go to the Eglise St. Pierre, are greeted by some requisite gargoyle-y faces, and once inside the dimly lit  space with its arching ceilings, sinister confession booths, and multiple, artful, stylized renderings of Jesus’ torture/crucifixation, you can’t help but think about ancient politics, intrigue, backstabbing, indulgences, ( )  subterfuge, old men and little boys, etc., i.e., anything but the spiritual underpinings of Christianity.  

Instead of lifting you to Heaven, the Vortex spirals you down to the inner circle of Hell, but you escape and head to the grander Palais des Papes, where, in the 1300’s, seven Popes ruled the church in what is now called the Avignon Papacy.  But instead of intrigue and little boys, you’re confronted with lines of tourists, a million posters, mimes, performance art, picture snapping, a thousand other things having nothing to do with religion.  Quel soulagement (what a relief)!

You continue on to a bridge arching over the Rhone, snap pics, then return to Les Halles, where you pic up provisions for your last night in Provence.

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