Our excursion to Avignon was a complete success with sunny weather and bearable heat. The excitement of city life was a welcome change for the day from the quiet solitude of our hillside home, and everyone, including the instructors, took the time to capitalize on the opportunity by sketching and photographing their surroundings.
Photography and Architecture students visited Le Palais des Papes—a fortress built in the 14th century as the home for several popes during the same time as the Papal Schism. As the largest gothic palace in the world, Le Palais provided an incredible amount of architecture, art, and historical artifacts for the students to explore.
Meanwhile, the Drawing and Painting students toured through La Collection Lambert, which houses a considerable collection of modern and contemporary art with a focus on minimalism.
Of course, while in Avignon, we all took advantage of the delicious cafés, restaurants, and ice cream shops. Many students also perused the many storefronts that line the streets and came away with some lovely purchases, including Maria’s two new hats from an 18th century hat shop.
By the time we all left the city walls of Avignon and travelled to Le Pont du Gard, we were all feeling exhausted (though the car ride functioned as the perfect time for a nap) and ready for a refreshing swim and a cold drink while we observed the best preserved Roman aqueducts in Europe—a true architectural beauty. While some students jumped right into the chilly water, others decided to make their attempt at capturing the intimidating structure of the aqueduct on paper or on camera.
By the time we finally arrived back at the hamlet, Perrin and Jen, our wonderful cooks, had a gigantic pot of gazpacho waiting for us—the perfect meal after a long, hot day. After dinner, the students began to trickle back to their rooms for some well-deserved sleep to gear up for the coming Major-Minor day.
Our next outing is to Mazan, a cistercian abbey located in the Massif Central of the Ardèche—stay tuned!