Back from France and back to tracking.
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Just returned yesterday from a three week trip to France, a river cruise tour through Grand Circle/Overseas Adventure Travel. We flew in to Nice, spent the next day then bussed to Arles to board the boat. The next day we spent in Arles, beautiful in its own right, it is famous through the many paintings Van Gogh did of the town when he lived there. Next day we were in Avignon. Had a walking tour and visited the former Pope's palace. Walking around town was made "interesting" by the Mistral winds that made it seem colder than the 50 degrees it was. That afternoon we went on an optional trip to a mountain villiage that has only 12 residents left. It was gradually abandoned due to the difficulty of getting water before modern plumbing. The rest of the main street is lined with tourist shops and art galleries. Near the village is a closed limestone quarry that has been turned into a sound and light show. It is entirely underground, the show is paintings by Van Gogh and Gaugain, with multipl projectors sliding pictures along the uneven walls, the ceiling and the floor, like being inside the paintings. Overwhelming an disorienting but AWESOME. The winds were so strong the boat could not leave as scheduled. We were supposed to sail under the ruins of the famous Pont d'Avignon, but another boat was stuck uner the bridge, blown against the pilings by the fierce winds. The lock upriver on our route was also blocked by a stuck ship, so we stayed put till the winds lessened after midnight. Day 6 we docked at Viviers, took a walking tour and shopped. while sailing on to our nrxt stop at Tournons we had an elementary French lesson, cause our next adventure was dinner in the home of a local family,