May 23 - Vaison-la-Romaine
A fact that I should have known is that Vaison has the largest archaeological sites in Europe. Because we were not cycling, we decided to visit these ancient Roman ruins. We walked down the hill from our hotel, crossed over the river on the old Roman bridge, walked up the pedestrian street toward the visitor center and entered the first archaeological site. Paying our entry fee, we walked to the museum and rented audio guides. We toured the museum first where we saw many relics dug up from the site. Next, we walked to to huge amphitheater that seated at least 2,000 people. Then we walked past ruins of huge houses of Roman wealthy people. We left the site to find lunch. We kept our audio guides because there was a lot more to see in the city.
We had a decent lunch on the main square at the same cafe that had the piano bar the night before. We then set off to discover more Roman ruins and some very old churches. I was surprised to see the large size of the second set of ruins.
We covered a lot of ground in our archaeological tour and were tired from walking. So we went back to the first archaeological site and turned in our audio guides. Then we walked back to the hotel for some downtime.
We had a special Happy Hour tonight. Syd invited an owner of a local tea shop to entertain us. He is Dutch and now lives in Vaison. He played a guitar and harmonica to accompany his singing. We heard several songs. Some were his own and some were folk classics.
We adjourned for dinner. It was warm enough to have our meal in the hotel's enclosed courtyard. It was really pleasant to eat outside away from the echo chamber in the main dining room. We could hear each other and have a normal conversation.