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The Rhone Through Provence

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The Rhone Through Provence

Posted by rpickett 16:47 Archived in France Comments (0)

The Rhone through Provence


semi-overcast 60 °F

As it was the next to last night on the cruise, we had the Captain's Gala Farewell Dinner. As I have traveled with AMA a number of times, I am lucky enough to sit with the Captain at this dinner.


Our morning excursion was a trip to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, which has the best overview of the city of Lyon, the third largest population in France. It was built with private funds between 1872 and 1896 in a dominant position overlooking the city. The site it occupies was once the Roman forum of Trajan, the forum vetus (old forum). Fourvière is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, to whom is attributed the salvation of the city of Lyon from the bubonic plague that swept Europe in 1643. Each year in early December (December 8, day of the Immaculate Conception), Lyon thanks the Virgin for saving the city by lighting candles throughout the city, in what is called the Fête des Lumières or the Festival of Lights. The Virgin is also credited with saving the city a number of other times, such as from a Cholera epidemic in 1832, and from Prussian invasion in 1870.


In the afternoon, we ventured out into the countryside to sample the wonderful Beaujolais wines. Beaujolais is a French Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) wine generally made of the Gamay grape, which has a thin skin and is low in tannins. Like most AOC wines they are not labeled varietally. Whites from the region, which make up only 1% of its production, are made mostly with Chardonnay grapes though Aligoté is also permitted until 2024 (on condition the vines were planted before 2004). Beaujolais tends to be a very light-bodied red wine, with relatively high amounts of acidity. In some vintages, Beaujolais produces more wine than the Burgundy wine regions of Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais put together.

This was a wonderful voyage due to the beautiful countryside and the wonderful Roman ruins....one of my better trips on the river!

Posted by rpickett 16:30 Archived in France Tagged lyon Comments (1)

The Rhone through Provence


overcast 66 °F

After a leisurely cruise during the afternoon and evening, we arrived at Vienne.

Occupying a privileged place at the crossroads of several roads (the Rhone Valley , the Alps and the Massif Central), the site of Vienne was very early inhabited by the Gallic people of the Allobroges , no doubt for the certain defensive interest that it offered. The site, watered by the Rhône, is also surrounded by five hills, making it the ideal location for a fortified city, although the irregular course of the Rhône created terraces liable to flooding there until the end of the 2nd century BC. The origins of the Roman colony of Vienna are fragmentarily known and have been the subject of various hypotheses.


In addition to the many wonderful Roman ruins, is the St. Maurice's Cathedral where the Council of Vienne was held.

The Council of Vienne was the fifteenth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church and met between 1311 and 1312 in Vienne, France. One of its principal acts was to withdraw papal support for the Knights Templar at the instigation of Philip IV of France. The Council, unable to decide on a course of action, tabled the discussion. In March 1312 Philip arrived and pressured the Council and Clement to act. Clement passed papal bulls dissolving the Templar Order, confiscating their lands, and labeling them heretics.


In addition the Priests of the Church of Notre Dame de Pipet are devoted to the apparition of Our Lady of La Sallete. Our Lady of La Salette is a Marian apparition reported by two French children, Maximin Giraud and Mélanie Calvat, to have occurred at La Salette-Fallavaux, France, in 1846.
On 19 September 1851, the local bishop formally approved the public devotion and prayers to Our Lady of La Salette. On 21 August 1879, Pope Leo XIII granted a canonical coronation to the image now located within the Basilica of Our Lady of La Salette.


After lunch we set sail on a rainy afternoon for the short trip to Lyon, our final stop.


Posted by rpickett 15:35 Archived in France Tagged vienne Comments (0)

The Rhone through Provence


sunny 70 °F

We spent the night Tournon, arriving after dinner, in preparation for tomorrow's excursions.
Tournon-sur-Rhône, with the name of Tournon, was one of the seven districts of the Ardèche department when it was created on 4 March 1790. When the arrondissements were created in 1800, Tournon was one of the three arrondissements of the department. On 18 March 1988, the name of the city was changed from Tournon to Tournon-sur-Rhône.

We had a spectacular dinner tonight at the Chef's Table which is a complete tasting menu. This specialty dining is included with your cruise fare.


Our excursion this morning was on a narrow gauge steam train, up the Doux Valley from just outside of Tournon to Boucieu-le-Roi. I was a great ride with some exceptional views!. After lunch we set sail again to our next stop of Vienne, where will will spend the night.


Posted by rpickett 15:35 Archived in Germany Tagged tournon Comments (1)

The Rhone through Provence


overcast 66 °F

We arrived at about midnight at our overnight stop at the medieval town of Viviers in preparation for our shore excursions in the morning. It is famed for its medieval catherdral and views over the Rhone river. It retains an important heritage from its rich past, including many listed monuments. These include the Town Hall, in the former bishops' palace; the 18th-century Hôtel de Roqueplane, now the seat of the diocese; the Cathedral of St Vincent, Romanesque, flamboyant Gothic and 18th-century in style, with its choir decorated by Gobelins tapestries and its marble high altar; the 16th-century Knights' House (Maison des Chevaliers) with its Renaissance façade, decorated with medallioned busts; and the Grande Rue with the elegant mansions of Beaulieu and Tourville, both dating from the 18th century. The Cathedral of St Vincent: The construction of the tower dates from the 11th century, and the greater part of the rest of the building from the 12th century. The vaulted ceiling was destroyed during the Wars of Religion of the 16th century, and was not reconstructed until the 18th century, when the work was carried out by Jean-Baptiste Franque.


Once everyone was back on board, we got underway on our journey to Tournon, where will spend the night and will tour tomorrow.


Posted by rpickett 14:33 Archived in France Comments (0)

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