last october's visit to france, was my 20th... yes, my 20th. with my reasonable
understanding of the language, i've been able to see, and experience the country
in a way many tourists never do. if "communing with the indigenous personnel"
is what you seek--you'll find it when you enter L'OMBRE DU PALAIS. this is
france in its truest form, and sabine, whose home this is, is an 'innkeeper' of the
the word 'ombre' translates to 'shadow,' and sabine's home is literally in the
shadow of avignon's papal palace, in the heart of the old city, which is surround-
ed by ramparts. the experience with her is indeed a personal one--she'll share
wine with you, or open her kitchen to provide a private culinary and dining ex-
perience. the cuisine, decor, and furnishings will leave you without doubt, that
you are in france...and...that you are in someone's home, rather than just in a
commercial hotel. you have indeed, found france!!
sabine, being an experienced traveler herself, can also provide guidance on
must-sees in avignon, and provence, as well as other fine dining options in the
city--many within easy walking distance.
since 'l'ombre' is adjacent to the city's most prominent landmark, it's easy to
find...get there by bus, or cab. then, just take an easy bus back to the station
to rent a car a day or so later. tour the town on foot, and save rental car, and
parking fees. sabine can provide directions that will allow you to park, easily,
underground, just a short walk away. when you're ready to depart, your exit,
even with baggage, will be an easy one.
sabine's home is a great base from which to see some of france's great
sights, like the roman aquaduct at 'pont du gard,' and 'chateauneuf-du-pape,'
only 15 miles or so away, and home to one of the country's great red wines.
sabine can offer directions, and maps. when i mentioned to sabine that we
were headed to the medieval hill town of 'les baux,' she strongly suggested
that we include a stop at nearby 'carrieres de lumieres,' a huge man-made
cave with projections of impressionist art on the walls. i would have missed
that without her help--some photos of this amazing place are included wiith
this review. 'local knowledge' is so important!!
so, summing up... sabine ferrand's L'OMBRE DU PALAIS, is a compila-
tion of all the reasons why you chose to break out from paris, meet the real
french people, and experience all the enjoyment of the real france.