Sur Le Pont D’Avignon

You probably remember “London Bridge is Falling Down”, or “Ring Around the Rosie” (not so nursery-rhyme-ish when you realize that the “falling down” punch line is actually a reference to people dying from the plague) but in Avignon we learned  that French children sing a different tune:  “”Sur Le Pont D’Avignon”.

(image from

After checking into our hotel, we walked over to the storied Pont St. Benezet, which stretches just a bit more than halfway across the Rhone River.

The old and the new: cars flow past the Pont St. Benezet, built in the late 1100's.

According to legend, a poor shepherd boy, later canonized as St. Benezet, claimed he had been commanded by angels to build the bridge, which joined Avignon to Vileneuve-les-Avignon on the left bank of the Rhone. The boy was initially ridiculed for his idea, but after he miraculously hefted a boulder to begin the work, the townspeople gathered to support him and his project. After his death. St. Benezet was interred in the Chapelle St. Nicholas beneath the bridge.

A bridge not far enough: the Rhone is a tough river to tame, and after repeated destruction of the bridge, the pont is now a partial pont.

View from the Pont St. Benezet: I would come back to France just to stand there again!

After touring the bridge, we returned to our hotel to settle in. We stayed at the wonderful La Mirande:

The CE at the entrance of Hotel La Mirande

The building was originally part of a medieval Cardinal's palace

We loved our room, especially the wallpaper and the windowseat!

And the very best thing about La Mirande is its location right next to Avignon’s biggest attraction, which will be the subject of the next post.

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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4 Responses to Sur Le Pont D’Avignon

  1. polloplayer says:

    CE here with Traveler’s Tip #10: Knowing when its time to go

    An important part of every savvy traveler’s repertoire is knowing when to go home. Here are some things to look for:

    1. You have been wondering why the hotel’s internet is so slow when you catch a peek of a gnarled guy in a green visor, behing the concierge desk, hammering away at a telegraph key.

    2. Every time you leave the hotel for a day trip or tour you come back to find your luggage neatly stacked outside at the taxi stand.

    3. You begin hallucinating that you actually understand the French language, when in fact you cannot tell apart their words for “taco” from “penguin” from “Paris”.

    4. Your good friend who is watching your house and pets reports, reluctantly, that the dogs have knocked to the floor every picture of you and your wife, and angrily tore the photos loose from their frames before chewing them into bits. Sadly, the cats followed closely behind with their rather repulsive 3 legged salute.

    5. All of your major credit card companies have provided your names to the local police.

    6. You find yourself missing a good old American football game, when in fact you have not watched one at home for 25 years.

    7. When faced with the prospect of another museum, castle, cathedral, fountain, or place of historic interest, you find yourself cursing the day your mother bore you.

    8. And finally, if your dreams start involving vivid images of your pet chickens, you must head directly to the airport.

    And that may be it from the Old Tipster. It has been great fun and I look forward to seeing you all back at the (chicken) ranch.

  2. polloamigo says:

    Sacre bleu! This cannot mean this is the last tip from Le Tipster? Just when I was contemplating getting a pair of Crocs and cutting holes in my socks. I have a beret somewhere around here. Look forward to seeing you too!

  3. Ang says:

    for me it was when eating mcdonalds made me home sick. GOD BLESS THE USA. but that room and window seat……hmmm. tres chic.

  4. Katherine says:

    Wow – another bridge to nowhere. Of course the French would do it first. And I can just see the workers, taking a long lunch, drinking wine while wearing hard-hat berets, saying “good enough.”

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