Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Star of the papal city?

Avignon is one of the cities I never had visited, but that I always had heard about. I remember that my friends who chose French as a second foreign language in high school, used to sing the song about a bridge in Avignon in their French lessons. It had an easy melody, so I learnt the song myself. Without the words, of course, as I chose German as my foreign language.

This summer I got to see the bridge myself. It never crosses the Rhone river, and the day I saw it, people were not dancing upon it like the lyrics say people do.

More reknown than the bridge, is the Papal palace and the story about the popes in Avignon. It is a beautiful building, but I did not take the time to see it from the inside. Perhaps that was unfortunate, but I did enjoy the sight from the outside.

After walking through the inner city of Avignon, it was time to sit down and enjoy dinner. I found the brasserie L'Hotel De Ville and ordered a portion of fish. It was very tasty, although I would have preferred more fish on the plate.

To drink I chose a half litre of the brasserie's draughted beer. That was none other than Belgium's Stella Artois. I have had Stella from draught before, and mostly in a licenced version in British pubs. I consider it a drinkable lager beer. This time I was given a pale lager with some carbonation and a small head. In the hot weather, this was an OK beer that took away my thirst. It had some maltiness, but I felt it was a little bit sweeter than I prefer lagers. It had much more taste than Jupiler, and if I had to choose between the two Belgian beers, my choice would be Stella Artois.

As I left the brasserie in the main square of Avignon, I thought to myself that Stella Artois gets a lot of undeserved badmouthing. Sure, there are better lagers than Stella, but there are also worse beers than it.

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