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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Sunday, 13 March 2016


Dominion Hotel, Avignon.
March 13th., 1926.

Image result for avignon dominion hotel postcard
We came here from Menton and are proceeding in easy stages back to England via Paris. The aim is to arrive in plenty of time for the birth. Dorothy is huge!

Today for the first time I knew what the mistral can be. It blew strongly, a harsh, cold-warm, dry wind that dries you up and discomforts the skin. Also the town is full of dust. I thought of a longish article on hotels this morning, and I wrote 1,000 words of it before dinner, upset though I was by the mistral. I think it must be the mistral which unfavourably affects the temper and manner of the employees here. The mistral is agacant.

We drove in clouds of dust to the cathedral. Closed but the post-card seller took us by a side door. It is a very remarkable piece of architecture, and not much like anything else. Then we saw the 'point of view'. Fine. It disclosed the strange interest of all the district around about. A district for centuries 'not France'. 'France lies over there'.

Image result for avignon dominion hotel postcardAfter lunch and siesta I went alone to the Palace des Papes. There are four visits a day, the last at 3.30. The Palais has little or no aesthetic interest. Its interest is archaeological and social. Only one open staircase. All the many others together with endless narrow corridors are cut in the thick walls (8 or 10 feet thick), as it were secretly. And everywhere are little holes, through which everyone could be spied on by somebody else. An impression unpleasant, mean, and particularly medieval.

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