We will be arriving soon and the trip has been made bearable by the inclusion of some of John's special videos. This video of Massey Ferguson Combine Harvesters and John's commentary is keeping us all wide awak............
Please send help John has spotted a double decker bus and is now giving us his Cliff Richard 'Summer Holiday' vocal impression.
Located in the southern part of the Luberon, La Tour d'Aigues is a pleasant village on the banks of the River Eze within the Parc Naturel Régional du Luberon.
Essentially an agricultural centre, La Tour d'Aigues is surrounded by cultivated fields and vinefields which produce a well respected wine.
The Tour d'Aigues château will remind you of certain Renaissance château in the Loire valley or in the Ile de France, notably because it was based on their designs.
The elegant proportions of its XVIth C. facade make a surprising contrast with other plainer chateau in the area. With its theatrical decor it's easy to imagine the past splendour of this Renaissance edifice especially while you admire the still intact gateway which takes the form of a splendid triumphal arch, one of the most beautiful in Provence.
Each summer the château hosts the South Luberon theater, music and dance festival.
the orchestra olayed behind this wall.
Today we travelled to Cassis, then took the land train to the Port where we Embarked on the Moby Dick to view the Calanques. This was followed by a foot exploration of the town.
Cassis is a Mediterranean fishing port in southern France. Overlooked by a centuries-old château, it’s known for pebbly beaches and its calanques, narrow inlets framed by steep, limestone cliffs. The harbor features pastel-colored buildings, sidewalk cafes and restaurants. Local vineyards are known for producing Cassis white wine. Trails run along the huge, rocky Cap Canaille headland for panoramic sea views.
We have had many very positive comments about the performance standard, an email received from audience members last night reinforced this. We are glad they enjoyed the concert.
A brilliant group of young people doing Britain Proud.
- How lucky were we to hear a couple of buskers as we were walking 'Off' piste looking for posters to take home as souvenirs of the Festival . Speaking little French our evening would have been restricted to the pop up street entertainment. Enjoyable as that would have been it would have been petite bier compared to the evening of pleasure that you provided- A BAYO Tapestry of music. We are not greatly experienced in listening to Classical music and such arrangements but are huge fans of Ennio Morricone and have seen him at the Albert Hall. If ever BAYO play his music we will be there listening now we follow the blog even if the concert were to be in Outer Space. Members of the Audience who spoke to us after the concert taught us a whole Thesaurus of French superlatives. Well done.
Mike and Liz Kelleher
The concert this evening is right in the heart of the mediaeval walled town of Avignon.
We even did some busking before the concert to promote it this evening.
This is to be the longest concert of the tour and will include an interval.
This afternoon we visited the town within the mediaeval walls of Avignon, which was teaming with visitors, street performers and people fliering for the shows that are part of the Festival D'Avignon which is on at the moment.
Information. The Palais des Papes (English: Papal palace, lo Palais dei Papas in Occitan) is a historical palace in Avignon, southern France, one of the largest and most important medieval Gothic buildings in Europe. Once a fortress and palace, the papal residence was the seat of Western Christianity during the 14th century.
Most will know the song Sur Le Pont D'avignon, and today we've walked from the Hostel to visit the famous site, and John and Di danced on the bridge to the orchestra singing, then returned to the Hostel for a swim before lunch.
The 12th century Avignon bridge is known as the Pont d'Avignon in the nursery rhyme or officially as the Pont Saint-Benezet. It forms part of the UNESCO listed historical centre of Avignon.
Only part of the bridge now remains - four out of an original 22 arches stretching only part way across the Rhone - but it remains one of the most popular attractions in Avignon.
History of the bridge
Bénézet was a simple shepherd with an uncanny ability to make people listen when he spoke, and it was he who had the idea for the bridge and who initiated the fund-raising, after reputedly hearing the voice of God instructing him to have the bridge built.
Until that time it was necessary to cross the river in a boat (although it is possible the Romans had a bridge at the same location). The completion of the bridge dramatically increased traffic across the river - and also raised a great deal of money for the local council, who charged a toll for each crossing.
The bridge is built on foundations of oak - great oak trunks up to a metre across were sharpened (like pencils), the pointed ends reinforced with iron straps, and the wooden posts then driven into the river bed. This provided the base on which the stone bridge could then be built.
There is also a chapel on the bridge dating from the 12th century, where the tomb of Bénézet was originally held - the lower part dates from the 15th century.
Frequent damage meant the bridge was often repaired over the following centuries, until finally being abandoned after severe damage in the 17th century.
Sammy is our windsock on the way back to the Hostel.
L'Isle sur la Sorgue is one of those places in Provence that one has to see. This "island city" lies at the foot of the Vaucluse plateau.
It's colours are nature's green and the bright reflection of the water shining from the several canals running through its centre.
The river Sorgue surrounds the city as if to hug it.
Walking along the canals you will notice how they run between the narrow ancient streets.
There are little bridges to cross and great wheels to look at with mossy blades turning in the river.
The Concert Venue Notre Dame De Anges
Visiting a Manade (ranch). Quintessential to the Provence mystique, La Camargue (the enormous Rhône delta), is where French cowboys, the gardiens, ride white ponies and herd black bulls.
Treating insect bites with the newly upgraded Friends of Bayo Tour First Aid Kit, Aspivenin Vacuum pump. We've a lot with us sufficient to deal with First Aid and Minor ailments, so we don't have to waste time visiting chemists. https://www.bayo-hampshire.org.uk/first-aid-and-minor-illness-treatment-kits/
We performed tonight in the Place Du Chateau, after a splendid buffet provided by the town, far more than we could eat.
The square also serves as a bullfighting arena, although you can see the bull pen in the picture below we were told no bulls would appear during the concert.
A short stop off with time to wander around the old town and some visited the arena. This is more complete than the colleseum in Rome but smaller.
Located between the sea and the Cevennes hills, Nîmes is one of the most attractive towns in Mediterranean France. The city was established by the Romans, on the edge of the Mediterranean plain, some twenty-five miles inland from the sea; and to this day, Nimes hasthe finest collection of Roman remains in France. Apart from its Roman remains, Nimes is worth visiting for its attractive old town and its gardens.
The local babies seem a bit ugly!
Our groups did not take pictures here! See the next picture to see where these tourists decided to pose.
Security is tight around the main tourist sites, but everywhere feels really safe.
The Pont du Gard is an ancient Roman aqueduct that crosses the Gardon River near the town of Vers-Pont-du-Gard in southern France.Wikipedia this was the highest viaduct of the Roman Empire and built in 5 years. Now a favoured spot for canoeing and swimming and jumping from Rocks into the river.
Did you know: Perhaps the most amazing fact about the Pont du Gard is that it took just five years to complete.marvellous-provence.com
Whoops..... As we assembled on the bridge to leave a man fell down some rocks into the river and looked to have broken his arm. Our First Aiders assessed the location and decided it was unsafe to assist and summoned assistance for him in franglais through a passing street cleansing team and watched as a milk float ambulance came to assist. A number of our party saw the fall, but no one was concerned by what they saw. We've offered to chat with them if they feel they need to.
This morning we saw the sights of Avignon from a Rhone Cruise Boat, and then had time for 30 minute swim before lunch.
The food is copious and tasty.
And the views from the terrace are outstanding. One group chilled at the YMCA whilst others went on an accompanied stroll into town.
We've arrived at the Hostel, and it's 35degrees and grasshoppers are announcing our arrival. 2 hours late due to traffic so we will be taking a dip in the pool or relaxing around the Hostel today delaying our visit to the bridge until later in the week. We are just about to get the surprise ice lollies out of the coolbox.
We are excited to visit the ancient city later this this week.
Avignon, city, capital of Vaucluse département, Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur région, southeastern France. It lies at a point on the east bank of the Rhône River where the narrow valley opens into a broad delta plain, northwest of Nîmes. It was the capital of the papacy from 1309 to 1377. Recognised for its architectural beauty and historic importance, the centre of Avignon was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995, and the city served as the European cultural capital for 2000.
An hours stop and time to sing Happy Birthday to Katie who is spending her 18th Birthday on tour.
And then time to chill out on some inflatables ... And meet one who offered to do John's job at the concerts.
We are through passport control getting ready to board the ferry. Leaving Dover at 2205.
Back on the coach at 0030 hours BST +1 we have travelled comfortably through the night we had a toilet stop at 0600, many chose to wait to sit rather than use the squat hole toilets. we've just passed the turn for Chatillon Sur Seine at 0630 and are set to arrive at Avignon at 1300 as planned. Everyone happy and getting on well... Although they seem to have gone back to sleep.
Just before Easter 2017, John and Di ventured to the South of France to do the ‘recce’ of the Hostel we will be staying at and various potential concert venues, and other places to visit at the end of July.
All is looking good, with some lovely concert venues to perform in. As well as spending time in Avignon (with the famous bridge), we hope to be visiting Nimes, Cassis (on the coast), Isle-sur- la-Sorgue and the Carmargue.
The Hostel has a good sized swimming pool, which will be great for a refreshing dip as it is likely to be hot at that time of year.
It has wonderful views over the river Rhone, and old parts of the town of Avignon.