"" Writer's Wanderings: One More Avignon Surprise, On To Barcelona

Monday, May 08, 2023

One More Avignon Surprise, On To Barcelona


Our hostess from La Damoiselle surprised us with some special pastry and a treat to take along with us at breakfast. She also promised to call a taxi for us. There was no way we were going to roll those suitcases over cobblestones for the 25 minute walk to the train station. 

We had about an hour after our bags were packed so we left them in the foyer area. When I learned that the house was at least 300 years old and the floors were original, I cringed rolling bags over the tiles. We struck out for a morning walk and took a left instead of right at the corner. New territory. 

A bit down the street and around a corner, we happened on a pretty quiet garden behind a gated fence. The sign indicated it was opened at 7:30 (some French is taking hold) so we walked in. The building that the garden curls in and around looked to be that of a convent or abbey.

Sure enough, when we found a historical marker it proved to be true. Now our French is not that good but Bob discovered that if you take a picture of a sign or even a menu, there is a little icon in the right corner that you can click on and it will ask if you want it translated. The translation is not always clear but it is enough to give you some understanding. Gotta love those iPhones.

We found our way around to the entrance to the attached church and entered. It was one of the prettier churches we've seen on this trip. Maybe it was due to the sunlight streaming in through a couple of places and creating a spotlight on several chairs. One chair in particular was specifically centered in the sunbeam. I felt the need to pray for whoever was to sit in that chair, asking God to meet them where they needed him most.

Moving on, we wandered a bit more and then decided we'd better find our way back. My iPhone map always has our hotel stay listed at the top of the directions page. I clicked on it and we found our way back to where we were familiar and on to the B&B.

Our taxi was right on time and we said a quick goodbye. There's only room for one car at a time on the street and there was one waiting behind the taxi. The ride to the train station was like being on a Disney ride with twists and turns and dodging people, bikes and scooters. Not a place I would want to drive--not to mention trying to figure out all the curving one way streets.

It was easy enough to find the regional train (SNCF) that would get us to Nimes where we would connect to the TGV INOUI for Barcelona. The stop in Nimes allowed us enough time to buy sandwiches and even to go out to the main road in front of the station and sit a few minutes in the sun. It was going to be a long train ride to Barcelona.

Nimes, France

At the platform, as we waited for the train to arrive, there was a large tour group with two leaders. One said, "Follow me if you are in car 18" and the other said, "Follow me to car 17". Since we were in car 17 we followed that group. We weren't going to get in the wrong car again. 

Unfortunately, the luggage space was all full on the lower level so Bob had to haul our suitcases up to the second level to find storage. We almost made the wrong turn but remembered which car it should be and found our seats with no problem. They were the only two empty in the car.

Four hours later, Hello Barcelona!

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