GARRIGAE ABBAYE SAINTE CROIX

Well, I got to at least see the Palais de Pape from the outside.

We made it all the way to Avignon today, and given the limited attraction options for a rainy day, spent all of half an hour trying to get into the Pope’s Palace to no avail – there was just no way to line up without getting drenched as the queue extended all the way outside the building. With just one tiny umbrella on hand it was a pointless exercise so we huffed it back to the Abbey. Since our room wasn’t ready yet, all we could do was wait in the bar area, with drink on hand while classic light rock music played in the background, and pass the time away by walking the grounds, discovering some interesting details of the Abbey including a chapel-turned-dramatic conference room and amazing views of the valley. In one particular perfect moment, the wine provided the right amount of headiness at the same time that a Cat Steven’s classic Father and Son began to play. Utter Bliss.

When we did finally get our room, it was the absolute opposite to what we went through yesterday. Apart from the basics – TV, air conditioning, WiFi – amazingly we had our own terrace, a balcony, and a bathtub for Teko. There were decent parking, actual staff running things, a restaurant in-house, a heated swimming pool that we likely won’t use, a much larger bed, and all shockingly for the same price as the Château’s. Not only was it better on all fronts, the only thing frightening about this place was how I’d feel after we left. It was unregretfully life-affirming.

With the rain still dragging, it looks like today’s a literal wash, but with the promise of better weather tomorrow, it’s probably going to be a mini-Amazing race in the region of sorts. Here’s hoping.

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