Arriving at the walled city of Avignon, in Provence France, the gendarme stood in front of the car; making it clear there was no entry into the city. I waived a piece of paper at him but he was still disinterested. So being English I peeped my car horn at him. He approached the car window ready to give me a lecture. He grabs the paper from my hand, reads the name of the hotel we are staying in and smiles and asks me to move through city gates.
Our five star, Hotel is D’Europe, was built in the 1580s. We stroll through the outside courtyard with a delightful set of trees and shaded areas. The lobby is less impressive. If you get five quests in one has to leave, if u get Jezzebel in the lobby with our luggage there is no spare space. However, the hotel has an impressive history. It sits in the northeast side of this nearly circular walled city of Avignon with its Roman and Medieval history. Everything is within easy walking distance. Interestingly when I ask a local person directions to the Palais Des Papes, the top tourist place to visit, they say its quite far. This turns out to be a fifteen-minute walk even with Jezzebel looking at a few shop windows. I’m often staggered at how many people don’t walk much, regularly in a newly visit city I ask for directions and people say its too far to walk.
We hit the town have a great evening in the hustle and bustle of their July annual festival lasting three weeks with over 1000 different shows and contemporary live performances to watch. A big sign says “1000 spectacles a million emotions”.
Back at midnight, we sleep well. Dreams of yesteryear perhaps brought on by the fact Napoleon may have slept in the same bed. My body fitting in the dip in the mattress, Napoleon and I are of a similar height. The hotel was said to be one of Napoleons favourites though others have stayed in the hotel over the years including but not limited to Picasso, Hemingway Cezanne, Dali, Picasso, Dylan, and Piaf.
We look for a breakfast location in the morning, clearly, this was not included on our 450 euro room charge. The city and the hotel is a must visit however.