[lit-ideas] Re: Avignon

  • From: David Ritchie <ritchierd@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 12:52:07 -0700

I saw Avignon from the back seat of a VW beetle. In the front seat were two Germans, who were engaged but were not on what they called "the anti-baby pill." This would have been either in 1976, in the late fall or possibly in the spring of 1977.

Maybe Walter and I passed one another on the street?

We were all three students in Grenoble, who met quite by chance at a cafe one day. The male of the party had grown up in Portugal and hence was more German than the Germans; he divided every cost of our travel into three portions, precisely down to the last centime. The female was someone I had taught at a kayak and sailing school in Wales.

All I remember of Avignon was that I didn't get to see much except the bridge (which is unimpressive) because ve vere behint schedule. Maybe the papal palace was closed? Does it still exist? I remember that some of the places we wanted to see on that trip closed between lunchtime and tea time, for a good long nap.

If you can loosen your principles and rent a car, the pont du Gard, which I think we saw on the same day, is fabulous


I particularly remember walking along the top and noting that in the interests of aesthetics, there were no guard rails. My guess is that this is no longer allowed.

The Norman Foster bridge should be somewhere close.


And did they get married? And were their babies evenly divided between the sexes? I have no idea. I lost touch with Gudrun and Klaus a long time ago.

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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