We left Paris on another TGV, arriving at the Avignon TGV station early in the afternoon. A quick shuttle bus ride brought us within the walls of the ancient city that was once the seat of power in the Catholic world. 

Our hotel (La Mirande) is across a narrow back street from the Papal Palace. Like the Vatican, the Avignon Papal compound includes many large buildings and grounds. In the photo at left, I'm sitting by the side of a road that leads from the Palace, past a huge building that houses the art museum, to a spectacular garden at the top of a hill. The river Rhone flows (your) right to left behind me. Jutting into the river to my right is a bridge that only goes half way across the river. 

In Orange, we stopped to see some great roman ruins. To the right, Mary is pointing at a Triumphal arch that has been surrounded by a traffic circle. We also climbed all over a very well preserved (it still had its stage wall) roman amphitheater in Orange. 
We took a day trip wet of Orange to the Gorges de L'Ardeches. After the beautiful drive up the canyon, we stopped at the Aven d' Orgnac. This amazing cave is a protected landmark in France. 1/3 of the cave is used for research only. The tours guide you through 1/3 (complete with pre-programmed dramatic lighting effects). and the last third is closed to everyone to preserve it.

Mary took this "art shot" of me standing near a huge stalagmite. 

The wine museum in Chateaunuef de Pape included a cardboard cutout of the owner stomping some grapes. Mary is helping, I think.
Where were we going? Was it the musee? No, I think it was to the pique nique (picnic).
While walking around Arles, we came upon this sign informing dog owners as to the proper disposal of "la dejection". 
One evening in Aiz-en-Provence we noticed this bronze boar.

Four days before we left Europe, the weather turned nice enough to attempt a hike. We decided to climb Le Croix de Provence (about 900M high). The trail starts out steep and becomes quite rocky at the end. In between, it's just very steep.
The ladies bathroom at the hotel Negresco in Nice had a mannequin sticking out of the door. The mens' room had a pirate theme, matey.