Disembarkation and on to Paris

Today was disembarkation day, our final morning on the Saone River. I spent as much time as possible outside before heading to the train station. The ride to Paris had a couple of minor glitches—to get to the track required a long flight of steps down and another up. That wouldn’t normally be a problem, but with luggage it wasn’t … Read More

Tournus and the Saone River, France

Quiet French Street in Tournus

Today was a lazy, relaxed day—a break from touring and endless walking. In the morning I headed off the boat to wander around town by myself. Curving back streets, with ancient doors and shutters, charmed me—they’re such a far cry from New York City.  Little details caught my attention—doorknockers and handles, signs, rooflines, and windows. Huge rose bushes bloomed, their … Read More

Macon, France

Vineyard in front of Limestone outcropping

Macon is a city on the Saone River. It’s also a wine growing region known for white wine, especially chardonnay. Today I got to explore both. In the morning I ditched the tour and walked around Macon on my own. Most things were closed, but that gave me an opportunity to wander down small back streets, look closely at architectural … Read More

Vienne and Lyons, France

Modern architecture n Lyons

Prior to this trip I’d never heard of Vienne, so I was surprised by how much I liked it. We took a “Toonerville trolley” to a high point above the city that had an expansive view of the city. The Rhone River snaked through a city awash in red-tiled roofs.  Directly below where we stood was the massive, ancient Roman … Read More

Valance, France

Welcome to Valance Sign

Last night we took a short scenic cruise to see Avignon’s famous Pont Bénezet (bridge) lit up. It’s famous due to a song about it.  Most tourists assumed (as I did) that it was destroyed during the second world war.  In fact, it was abandoned long before that. Built in the 12th century, it was washed away several times by … Read More

Arles and Avignon, France

Man riding bicycle on hilly street in Arles

Today was a tale of two cities with very different histories and looks, united by their dependency on tourism. In the morning we took a walking tour of Arles, known for its relationship to Van Gogh.  He lived in Arles for one year, but during that time he created three hundred drawings and paintings. There is a trail through town … Read More

Marseilles to Arles

Woke up this morning to bright sunshine and a gorgeous view of Marseilles’ old port.  We started the day with the most typical of French breakfasts, a croissant and café au lait. We walked around the area, stopping at the morning fish market. I wish I could have bought some of the fish, it could not have been fresher. From … Read More

Travel Travails

It’s 9:15PM and my friend Sue and I are in Marseilles, France.  We just enjoyed a glass of wine and wonderful Bouillabaisse dinner, in a restaurant with a view of the old port.   But since last evening it has been a crapshoot as to whether we, and our luggage, would make it here. It started with a gate change … Read More