Sunday, April 25:  Vaison-la-Romaine

A lazy day, a necessity. We took our time getting up and organized, and Pat made scrambled eggs (with pecorino cheese) for the boys. We alternately toured the city center and conducted reconnisance missions. The municipal swimming pool was empty, we found reasonably priced coffee, peering through the gates was sufficient for the “mini-Pompeii” archaeological sites and we visited the river for a view of the Roman arch bridge. Its been there for 2,000 years, surviving even a flood that killed thirty people in recent times. Locating the Internet cafe was the only failed mission.

We crossed the river and walked into the walls of the old medieval town. It was very pleasant, owing to a lack of similar minded tourists. But there wasn’t that much to see. The cathedral appeared gutted on the inside and the castle on the summit was incomplete and inaccessible. However, the view over to Mount Ventoux was quite nice. Like Mt. Rainier, it appears to make its own weather, and the summit was engulfed in its own private cloud. Provence has 300 days of sunshine, but we’ll be lucky if we get a good day for a visit to the summit of nearby Mount Ventoux for its Pyrenees-to-Alps views. (Photo 81)

We bought crummy sandwiches in town and brought them home for lunch. David and I took a walk and located the Internet cafe (closed Sunday), learning a lesson in French addressing schemes in the process. Homework (lots of math), journal editing, a nap, reading and soccer practice rounded out the afternoon for a pleasant change in the power-tourist routine.

We tried another cafe on the north side of the city square (one of five or six in a row) and did much better at getting a square meal for a decent price. Pat has figured out beverages, using the right terms to get a carafe of house wine and a pitcher of tap water (rather than the 4.50 euro half-liter of water we bought last night that tasted odd).