#VBTVacations UPDATE: We started out roaming the farmer’s market in St. Rey's cobblestone streets, finding baguettes, ham, and pate to eat picnic style along the way. (I have been grateful so many times this trip for having enough command of French to do practical things…like ask the difference between pates or find out where the best baguettes are #frenchfoodie). After, we left for a long day through the countryside on our bikes. We stopped about halfway to our destination at a lovely old abbey-St. Michel de Frigolet-which was gorgeously restored and worth the uphill slog it took to get to the top of it. After that we stopped at a much smaller abbey along the way and ate our farmer’s market procured sandwiches. Add to that the fresh apricots and cherries we managed to find and it was a special stop.
Nonetheless, I took the van for the next 10 minutes or so to schmooze with Oliver, one of our great @VBTvacations guides. He gave me a nice overview of the region. Then I rejoined the group on bikes and we all rode into Pont du Gard. We pulled into the parking area and made a quick dash to the food service there and gulped down a lot of Cokes and Oranginas (my choice) and then went to the see the @UNESCO World Heritage site. A first century BC Roman aqueduct that is truly spectacular. Only a portion of it is left and it was made without mortar, using huge stones and of course the work of slaves, most of whom were recorded as dying in the process. A sad monument to the times.
After that we bussed to Villeneuve-lès-Avignon and had dinner at our hotel, La Magnaneraie. This would qualify for a mention in my romantic destinations book, Frommer’s Places for Passion (which is getting a fresh new website and blog soon as well! #Places4Passion). Lovely old buildings grouped around a pretty park and lit seductively at night. We are being fed very well and housed very nicely, but most of all I am impressed with our @VBTvacations guides who make a novice like me feel safe and encouraged.