Published: July 11th 2012July 10th 2012
The cruise departed from Arles while we dined last night and cruised 3 hours to Avignon. We went through one lock on this journey. The captain indicated that we would go though 15 locks on this cruise from Arles to Chalon sur Saone. Not too bad. On our previous Uniworld river cruise we went through 80+ locks, some changed the elevation of the river by 85 feet. Amazing feat. Today we decided to take the ships walking tour this a.m. because they take you inside the papal palace. Built after the papal moved from Rome in 1309 this extremely large multifaceted building included meeting and conference rooms, dining hall to serve 100+, a chapel for services, and many other rooms. 7 popes resided here before they returned to a safer Rome in the late 1300's.
We went to an indoor French market. They sold everything from flowers to beautiful spices, formage, fruits, vegetables, a boulangerie, etc. the butcher had poultry skinned still with heads on... And rabbits too! It was creepy. I would have loved to buy some of the premade casseroles and meals as they looked fabulous.
We left the walking tour with a nice couple we met
from Florida, Jane and Bill. We wandered and found a great litte French bistro and had a really nice lunch. During lunch several thespians and entertainers from the festival Avignon came by and performed for all the bistro diners. Jane and Bill wanted to go to see the gardens by the popes palace and we wanted to go to the pure lavendar store again so we each went our separate way after lunch. We bought some lavender products and started to make out way back towards the boat.
The weather is so unexpectedly hot that Jim wanted to find a 2nd pair of shorts to wear so we stopped in a gant store and he found a nice pair of tan shorts to buy. When we got back to the river Royale, we had an ice coffee in the lounge and returned to our cabin. Somehow I got a lot of mosquito bites on my lower legs, arms, feet. Jim went back out and found a pharmacies and bought some cream to stop the itching. Thank goodness because they are driving me crazy!
Dined with Jane and Bill in the Cezanne dining room and we talked and laughed
from 7:00 to 10:00 and were the last to leave the dining room! The salad nicois and lamb chops with lyonnaise potatoes were excellent. The wine here is free flowing every night and you have to know when to stop because your glass is never empty.
Another great day. Tomorrow we are no longer in Provence. Sad. We go to the town of Viviers. After that we go to tain-l' hermitage which is ssssoooo exciting to me. The birthplace of Valrhona chocolates. Valrhona means "valley of Rhone". Who knew... Not me! I can see chocolate in my future! For today, bonne nuit.
There are more photos below