Saturday, August 15, 2015

Valence, France

After almost 6 hours of driving, we finally arrived at our first stop - Valence. Taking the highway was easy, up until we got to Lyon where suddenly there were more cars on the road. This is after all the highway to vacation-land. Tip: if you can, try avoiding taking the highway on weekends when you're going on vacation. My niece left on a Saturday and was stuck in traffic for 3 hours. We left on a Tuesday and we had no problem concerning traffic, just the occasional reckless truck driver!

As soon as we arrived in town, we decided to stop by first at the hotel and get our hotel keys. Wait for the next post to read all about our hotel experience. The lovely receptionist gave me some brochures and information about the city. We were eager to go and explore.

Esplanade du Champ de Mars with a view of Le Kiosque Peynet
We took the car and parked it in the underground paying parking by the Esplanade du Champ de Mars. It was really convenient to visit the places we wanted to see.

The first thing we noticed was how green the esplanade was. The flowers added beautiful colors to it. While it is unfortunately often taken for granted,  I find that a green space like this is indispensable. 

Esplanade du Champ de mars with a glimpse of the Cathédrale Saint-Apollinaire 

Another thing that I couldn't help but notice was how clean the grounds were. I often lament the lack of green space and parks in Cebu, Philippines. But then again what's the point of having beautiful parks if one can't maintain it and keep it clean???

Le Kiosque Peynet 
Situated in l'Esplanade du Champ de Mars, one can easily understand why Le Kiosque Peynet has also been nicknamed as the lover's booth. I can help but wonder how many couples have met up here and shared romantic kisses. This place is full of charm and really does bring a romantic touch to the city of Valence.

A couple of steps from the Kiosque Peynet, you will find the Parc Jouvet.

Peace, quiet, and beauty.

The botanical garden is named after its generous donor, Théodore Jouvet.

SO was happy to see the playground and naturally we spent a couple of minutes here.

In honor of the generous donor, Théodore Jouvet!

We decided to walk across the street and explore more of the city.
We suddenly stumbled on the Cathedrale Saint-Apollinaire. We hoped to see the insides of this beautiful monument, but unfortunately it was closed. I thought the place was quite deserted.

In a nearby street, we found La Maison des Tetes, the house of heads. If you're walking in the streets and fail to look up, La Maison des Tetes might seem like a regular house. If you do look up, you will notice the interesting architecture - gothic-like gargoyles and saints. Definitely not like a regular house.

Walking back to the parking to go back to our hotel, we found ourselves in Places des Clercs, Place du Présidial, and Place del'Univérsite. The square was full of restaurant and diners on this summer evening.


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