Experience #6: Ride the Carousel at Place d’Horloge

During our first tour of Avignon back in March, Place d’Horloge and the carousel in the center were some of the first things we saw. Nearly every day I walked past that carousel and today, with only a few days remaining in Avignon, I decided to ride it.

The carousel was rather empty when I arrived and I was the only person waiting in line. After purchasing my ticket for 2 euros, I waited for an opportunity to hop on. As I was the only one waiting, I didn’t think the operator would stop the whole thing just so I could get on, so I decided to just go for it. Bad idea. In one of the least graceful moments of my life, I tripped my way onto the platform, bruising my shins and my pride on the way.

Also, did I mention I was alone? It’s a good thing I have a high tolerance for shame.

Anyways, once I was upright and had picked out a horse, the carousel stopped. It would appear that that was my opportunity to get on. To hide my embarrassment, I studied my ticket which was actually rather adorable.

I figured “Hey, this is cute, and I paid 2 euros,” so I tucked my ticket into my purse. But oh, not so fast. Out of nowhere, some stumpy middle aged man comes up to me and demands the ticket back. Silly me for thinking that 2 euros would get me more than a few turns on the merry-go-round.

The carousel finally started after a few agonizing, stationary minutes. The music was not what I expected, however. Instead of classic carnival organ music, it was remixed with something I assume is akin to French Top 40. Très bizarre. And then, there I was, a twenty-one year old girl, spinning around in circles on the back of a ceramic horse, the only person on the carousel save for a few babies on the other side. Not exactly the way I remember the carousel rides of my youth, but it was nice just the same. How often can one say that they’ve ridden a carousel in France? And, hey, at least I made a friend.

I named him Claude.

Overall, not a terrible use of 2 euros. I would suggest bringing a friend, however.


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