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Return to Avignon
We start with a fantastic downhill - the payback from yesterday afternoon. Sadly, because we're in the Lubéron, there's another climb into Gordes. Worth it though, a very pretty village with some more spectacular views before we head off on backroads to the Fontaine de Vaucluse.
This extraordinary resurgent spring, is the source of the River Sorgue, and we follow the Sorgue valley through to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. This sleepy town, built around the many channels carved out by the Sorgue, has become famous as France's leading antiques market. seriosuly! It's a beautiful town, and we'll have lunch here.
After lunch we do our best to follow quiet roads into Avignon, where we can enjoy a cold drink gazing across the square at the enormous Palais des Papes.
In the 14th Century, fleeing chaotic violence in Rome, Pope Clement V moved to Avignon, which became the base for a total of 7 popes. One of these, Benedict XII, supervised the completion of the largest gothic building in France, the vast, fortified Papal palace. If we get into Avignon in good time we can have a look round, but in fact the most spectacular aspect of the palace is to view it from the outside and marvel at the sheer size of the thing.
After we leave Avignon, we cross the Rhone for one last time and climb the short hill back to Villeneuve les Avignon and the Residence les Cedres. We're finished with Provence - well done.