Saturday, April 13, 2013

Caro's Big Adventure: Viviers to Lyon

After our day in Avignon, we sailed overnight to Viviers, and so this day, we had a busy day. The morning held a walking tour of Viviers, a very old town, built on a big hill, boasting the smallest Cathedral in France. The town was gorgeous, but I found the walk, with a lot of uneven, cobbled ground, and steep climbs (although it was the coming down that I found worse than the going up), Allan bit stressful on my knees.

Our guide was again a local, and very well informed and informative about the local area. Our tour also included a half hour organ recital in the cathedral, featuring the cathedral organist, playing some well known pieces, as well as some lesser known French compositions. It was a lovely treat, and another unexpected delight, was to be greeted at the entrance of the cathedral by a very friendly, fluffy white cat (which I later learned belonged to the organist). As I sat on a low wall near the door, the cat came and nuzzled into me, rubbing against my hands, my pack pack and nuzzling into my side. Very cute :-)

We returned to the ship at 11am, and set sail immediately, so during lunch and the afternoon we were en route to Tournon. That evening was very special. We had the option of sharing a meal with a local family in Tournon, and I was part of a group of 8, mostly Australians, from the ship, who dined with Pierre and Genevieve. They had no English, and most of our group had no French, so it was pretty much up to me, and another woman (whose French was a bit better than mine) to act as translators. We walked from the ship to their home, which took about half an hour (my poor knees!), but this was because we dawdled, as P and G showed us significant things around the town along the way. Genevieve was very canny, and worked out that I and the other woman (whose name was also Genevieve) had some French, so she seated us close to her and Pierre, so we could act as translators of sorts. It was a great evening, and despite the language issues, we managed to communicate, and laugh, and sing and eat and drink together. They gave us their card, with email address on it, as we had taken some photos, and they wanted copies.

Back on the ship,  I relaxed in the lounge, with a hot Baileys coffee and my iPad, and emailed the photos to P and G straight away.

The next morning found us in Vienne. The weather wasn't great, the first day that it had actually rained, and I was glad that I had booked into the mini train tour of the town (although I still got a bit cold and wet). It was still a great adventure, and I was annoyed at some of the people who seemed to do nothing but complain and nit-pick the whole time. I was determined to have fun, and nothing dampened my spirits! :-)

Because of the cold conditions, the group decided to cut our tour short and go back to the warmth of the ship. Given my knees were still recovering from the previous day's assaults, I didn't complain about this, and enjoyed relaxing for the rest of the day. That afternoon, we cruised into Lyon, and it was great to be propped up on my bed, with my curtains open, watching the scenery as we sped along the river and came into port.

So, thus ended Days 4 and 5.

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