Mysterious Mistral


My last day, September 12, 2014. When I woke up it seems like every other day. Beautiful blue sky, sun shining, the weather has been glorious everyday. However as I found out when I went outside the mysterious mistral has arrived.  I headed to Rocher des Dom ,  a park behind the Palace des Papes, high on the hill overlooking the Le pont Saint Bénezet (the bridge from the French song – sur la Pont d’Avignon….) and the Rhone River. As soon as I left my apartment and got away from the narrow streets I started to feel the wind.  By the time I got to the top of the hill it was downright cold.  Such a big change after all the warm days since I arrived.  I had a sweater but wished I had a scarf.  However the views were lovely and we still had sun.
Locals tell me it lasts 3,6, or 9 days, always in 3s. I’ve read about the famous Mistral so it’s kind of cool to experience it. Doesn’t take much to thrill me! This is what Wiki says about the Mistral.

The mistral is usually accompanied by clear, fresh weather, and it plays an important role in creating the climate of Provence. It can reach speeds of more than ninety kilometers an hour, particularly in the Rhone Valley. Its average speed during the day can reach about fifty kilometers an hour, calming noticeably at night. The mistral usually blows in winter or spring, though it occurs in all seasons. It sometimes lasts only one or two days, frequently lasts several days, and sometimes lasts more than a week.

I’m staying in Avignon today, I have chores to do, packing, cleaning the apartment, recharging all my electronics – iPhone, iPad, kindle, iPad keyboard, Fitbit, and extra charger for my iPad. Tomorrow I have a long day, the train to Paris airport, long layover, then plane to Boston, then drive home,  about 20 hours. The least enjoyable part of travel.

However I spend the morning walking around one more time before settling down to chores.

Notes: the BIZ or bisou or bizou – the kiss, kiss, that the French do so well. When you meet a friend or even an acquaintance on the street, at work, or at a party, you do the biz. In France (and St Barth) it’s on each cheek, in the south it’s on each cheek then another on the opposite cheek – kiss, kiss, kiss. It’s quite nice actually.
When I walk into our office in St Barth I always go around and biz everyone, when I leave for the day I do the same.

Notes: Lunch time, never assume a store, shop, museum or office will be open mid day. Many things close for at least an hour so employees and owners can have lunch. Very civilized and nice – but annoying when you’re used to everything being open practically all the time. When it comes to Sunday, forget it. Go enjoy your day off, spend it with family, forget work and chores for a day.


I'm in my sixties with the world at my feet and thoughts mostly of "where to next?". I retired in 2017, sold my house in Massachusetts and most of my furniture and "stuff." When not traveling you can find me in Florida in the winter and Rhode Island in the summer. Travel has been a passion from a young age, over the years I've discovered I'm a traveler, not a tourist. I prefer traveling solo, with a travel friend, or small groups. Whenever possible I would rather spend time in one place rather than moving around. I'll never turn down an opportunity to go to France, but my travels have taken me all over the world. I've met some incredible people and had some fantastic experiences.

1 Comment

  • Bev September 26, 2014 at 6:16 am Reply

    biz, biz, biz, Kath. Have enjoyed this so much and my RSS is working. Icon top right corner of my screen – just a click for your excellent blog.

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