Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Villeneuve les Avignon

This morning early we took the 10-minute bus ride across L'Ile de la Barthelasse to Villeneuve lez Avignon.  "Popes and Cardinals built their secondary residences in this town founded by King Philip the Fair to escape the bustle of Avignon.  These palaces were the centre of European diplomacy for over a century."  So says the little guide book we picked up at the Office de Tourisme, where we descended from the bus.  This first shot is taken from our walk and shows the Fort Saint Andre in the background, the Eglise collegiale Notre Dame and I believe one of the cardinal's palaces in the foreground.

We had a coffee (have to stay fortified, you understand) and set out on one of the suggested walks near the city.  We walked up the Colline des Mourgues,  It is 7 hectares of walled park with lots of lovely views of the city.  There is an open air theatre and the remains of several important religious sites such as la Petite Chartreuse, the tomb of the hermit Crouzet-Lacombe, and the chapel of Notre-Dame de Consolation.  It was a lovely morning for a walk, although it is still very hot, and it felt good to stretch our legs after nothing but city walking for a few weeks.

Walking up the hill.

 Fort Saint Andre in the distance.

 The open air theatre.

 The tower of Philip the Fair (Phillipe le Bel) on the right.  This fortress tower was built in the 13th century and played a key strategic role by controlling access to the Pont d'Avignon.  In the background you can see the Palais des Papes, within the walled city of Avignon.

This is a picture of the Rhone, taken toward the end of our walk looking in the direction of Avignon.  The walk goes around the Plaine de l'Abbeye with the Rhone alongside.  Nice.

After we got back I played around with my watercolours again and did a second version of the pears. This time I used a hot-pressed paper and it was interesting to note the way the paints reacted to this paper.  Can't decide which I like better.  More experimenting to follow!!  This is some paper I had brought with me from home (the cold pressed paper I bought here) and I felt I should use it, to justify the carrying thereof!  Today's version is the one on the top.

I have also prepared a couple of stencils to use with my gelli plate and so might play around with that tomorrow.  We'll see.  And if I do, you'll see too!

I'll be back.


  1. I like those pears. And I'm impressed - hot pressed v cold pressed : all sounds very technical to me.

    1. Thanks, Hilary. I'm having fun learning about the watercolour world!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Joanie. Lots of practice, but lots of fun! Nice combo!

  3. What a stay you're having in France - how I envy you!
    Those pears continue to fascinate. I can't decide which I like best either!