Thursday, 15 September 2016

France: The Other Rome: Adventures In and Around Avignon

Here's the first paragraph of my article from the Summer 2016 issue of Timeless Travels...

The Palace of the Popes at Avignon
Photo: Garry Shaw
'Sur le Pont d'Avignon, l'on y danse, l'on y danse, sur le Pont d'Avignon l'on y danse tous en rond’ goes the French children's song, composed in the 19th century, but based on a much older tradition of songs about the Proven├žal city's famous bridge. Seemingly known by every French-speaking person on earth, the lyrics translate as, ‘On the Bridge of Avignon, we dance there, we dance there, on the Bridge of Avignon, we dance there all in a circle.’ Much to my embarrassment, until planning my trip to Avignon, I hadn't heard of this song, but for my Francophone friends, it was a completely different story: to them, I'd be embarking on a pilgrimage. ‘First see the papal palace,’ they said (popes? in Avignon? I thought, keeping quiet about my ignorance). ‘And then go stand on the bridge, sing the song and dance in a circle. It's what you're supposed to do there.’ Well, I figured, if it's what you're supposed to do. Why not?

You can download a pdf of the full article here: The Other Rome: Adventures In and Around Avignon.

And if you enjoy it, please buy the Summer 2016 issue of Timeless Travels! It's full of wonderful history-themed travel pieces. You can find it at: http://www.timeless-travels.co.uk/