Posted: 2009-08-11

Avignon Apartment

On Monday morning, Chad and I checked out of our apartment in Aix and headed to the train station.  We had originally planned to go to a WWOOF farm to stay with a French family and help them out around their property.  (More on WWOOF in a future post.)  However, on Friday morning, we received an email from the WWOOF family asking us to postpone our arrival at their house from August 3 until August 12.  At the last minute, we had to scramble to find a place to stay for 9 days.

In the end, we decided to go to Avignon and see a new town for those 9 days.  We arrived in Avignon in the afternoon and went to our new apartment.  Let’s just say that it was not as “quaint” as it looked in the internet photos.  This apartment was not the cleanest, and it smelled of cat pee and mildew.  In fact, in the middle of the night on our second night there, Chad was done with the place.  He got up in the pitch black and emailed other apartments to see if they were available. 

The next day, I called one place, but they were already booked.  Another apartment that we had contacted earlier belonged to Danielle - a studio apartment in her house.  She had sent us her phone number, so I called her.  We stopped by her place at the end of the day.  The apartment was too far away from the city center for us, so Danielle called her friend Stephanie who also has a vacation rental, and she left a message.  While we were waiting for Stephanie to return the phone call, Danielle invited us around the back of her house for an apperatif (cocktail hour).  Well, we met her husband, sons, an uncle, and grandparents.  We had a glass of wine (for Juli) and a glass of pastis (for Chad) and some snacks.  Good conversation, good cultural exchange.  In the end, Danielle drove us to her friend Stephanie’s house and dropped us off to view the apartment which turned to be perfect for us.  We came back to Stephanie’s place with our baggage the next day and moved in.

A view of the main house with our cottage to the left - you can see our big window which faces onto the street

On the main house, there are angels which support the balcony over the front door

Here’s the door to our cottage

There is a little patio next to our door where we eat or just sit and read

When you walk in the door, you are standing in the main room looking towards the kitchen - for all of you archi-dorks, notice the concrete counters and the terrazzo floor

Standing in the kitchen looking the other direction - the sofa folds down to become our bed

The toilet compartment is next to the kitchen

Stairs by the kitchen lead down to the basement where we keep our luggage and clothes, there is also a washing machine and shower downstairs

Here’s the shower - concrete walls, river-stone floor, glass shelves

There is also a sink in the shower room

Our new landlady is a glass artist.  It seems that most of her work is architectural - windows, doors, showers, light fixtures, stairs, mirrors.  Also glasses, bottles, plates and bowls in our apartment.  Here are some examples:

The bottom part of the windows are sandblasted for privacy but left clear above so you can see out to the garden - a poem runs along the dividing line between the two parts of the window - this phrase says, “des formes dans la vide” (the forms in the void)

The mirror in the upstairs toilet compartment says “mirror” in French

The mirror in the downstairs shower room has a sandblasted floral pattern on the sides which is backlit

Some examples of the dishes that Stephanie has made

-Julia Abbott



So things turned out nicely. Hurray!

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