Thursday, 11 July 2013

T12: Transit to Avignon

Today was a pure transit day - 4 hours in the van with 6 blokes, 4 bikes on the roof and 36 degrees. You get the picture.
Provence is supposed to be very pretty - lavender and vineyards. I'd heard that the ancient Vatican City of Avignon was an amazing fortress city with a speccy Palace of the Popes, lovely river and alluring old city centre. So I was a bit worried I'd over written up Annecy, knowing it will be hard to find more adjectives if Avignon lived up to the hype. 

No problems. It didn't. 

It was hot, dry, full of tourists, way too many people and noisy with hundreds of street performers who were really not performing per se, more trying to flog tickets to their evening shows and handing out fistfuls of flyers...some summer festival thingy. And quite frankly once you've seen a massive castle or two and a Papal Palace that's all old and "interesting" and a massive Jesus, I'm like: whatevz dude, show me the ice cream shop. 

Apparently it's nice in spring without all the humans. To be fair - it is pretty cool that they managed to build all this about 1,000 years ago and build on it during the Middle Ages. *meh*

Anyway, we managed to find a bar and AGAIN had to ask to have the TV turned on to watch the individual time trial. Then hang about deciding whether we'll actually buy a drink or not from said establishment, while the owner frigs around trying to connect the set top box and find French TV2. It's like being on Flinders Street in September on a certain Saturday when you couldn't get tickets to the G and having to ask if it was OK to turn on the telly to watch a fairly important AFL game. Guys - it's the T-D-bloody-F!!!

Finally success and a fairly predictable outcome. Martin 1st, Froome 2nd. The most interesting thing was that Cavendish had a cup of wee thrown at him! How does Omega management know it was wee? And what if Cav now fails a control test? Can he blame the other wee?

Now two other things:

1. Stop freakin smoking!!! Especially don't do it whilst I'm trying to eat my breakfast and enjoy my croissant. Far out - its disgusting. And not while I'm eating dinner might have finished, I bloody well haven't!! Please: just STOP!

2. Your coffee is TERRIBLE. We are spoiled in Australia. I find that here the coffee is weak, watery and bitter. There's seldom ever a crema. I've working it out though: not enough coffee in the gruppo, not enough tamping, and water too hot. Also, too many badly set up auto machines. And everywhere you go it's something different. Last week a "cappuccino" came out as a boiling hot watery flat white and then the same order 2 days ago at a different place resulted in a not too bad looking shot being assulted with a layer of whipped cream from a pressurised can!!! It was like watching a train smash in slow motion as I tried to dive over the counter to take the hit of cream spewing from offending canister directly to my own head. Sheesh - like, Italy is just there! Duck over the border, get a lesson and sort it out!

Alright then. Tomorrow is back to riding as we head towards Mont Ventoux. Forecast is 36 degrees. 

I'm looking forward to vineyards, lavender and all the pretty things Provence has to offer. 


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