Today’s post comes from Barbara in Robbinsdale.
The final part of our trip to France in the spring of this year was an 8-day Viking River Cruise. (I am saving the 2nd leg of the trip for Veterans’ Day.) Imagine our delightful anticipation, having seen all of Viking’s TV ads showing the glorious scenery and culture that is yours while on board this vessel. We were to meet the cruise ship at Avignon in southern Provence – a wonderful place by any measure.
The cruise went like this:
Because of high waters on the Rhone R. (early snow melt on top of ample rains); authorities wouldn’t let cruise ships travel under the bridges, and our cruise ship was unable to GET to us in Avignon. Viking put us up for the first two nights at Hotel Novetel; there was a lot of complaining from previous cruisers about the hotel’s food, a mere shadow of what we would finally experience on Viking. We were able to do our walking tours of Avignon and Arles – we traveled by bus instead of boat to Arles the second day.
We were, on Day 3, bussed to our stranded ship in Vienne, where we got to unpack in our cabins, and started to at least experience the luxury of the cruise ship, even if it was stationary. They did allow us to cruise upriver on Day 5, from Vienne to Lyon – we were ecstatic, but learned the following morning that we were stranded again, this time in Lyon.
Cruising was wonderful for the four hours we got to do it. Food, drink, and life on the boat were fabulous, and we met some great people. We did see almost all the other scheduled sights by bussing from either Vienne or Lyon.
But lots of riding on busses. Hmmmmm.
Tours and sights: Palace of the Popes in Avignon (plus a lot of wandering on our own, since we were there a day and a half on our own). Arles – Van Gogh territory and a Roman Amphitheater. A winery or two, Vieux (Old) Lyon, and they’re not kidding about the Vieux… 15th century homes, and traboules (detailed in my July 15 post). In Beaune, we got to see the original Hotel Dieu, which I will write about some other time.
When have you spent too long on a bus?