South of France wine cruise–history, wine and great food

Not so long ago,  Roy and I did a wine cruise through Southern France with our friends Jackie and James from London.  We had such a good time and saw amazing scenery and history.  We visited Avignon, Viviers, Arles, Beaune, Lyon, Macon and more.  James and I always tried to pick up local wines to try during the cocktail hour on the ship. We hit all kinds of weather–very hot in Avignon and pretty cold in Lyon. I have so many amazing memories of the trip, I thought I would share them before our next adventure.

The Pope’s Palace in Avignon. Avignon was the home of the pope beginning in 1309. Lots of history to see at the Palace.

It was wonderful to walk miles every day to see the sights and soak in the history. Then, at night we would enjoy a glass of wine and a fabulous dinner on the boat. Hard to beat!

It was fun to try the wine and then share it with the cruise chef, Sandra. She gave us a tour of the kitchen, so we learned a lot about how much work it is to constantly feed the passengers and crew. It was a delight getting to know her.  What an impressive young chef.  Thanks to Sandra for taking some good care of us and making the ship experience extremely special.  It was always fun to chat and share a glass of wine with her when the meals were done. She was extremely busy as you can imagine.

She outdid herself on some of the desserts!

Here’s Jackie and me on the day we left on the boat from Avignon.  It was really windy. Can you see how my hair is flying up in the air?

Here I am with Jackie and James in Arles at Le Cafe du Nuit, the inspiration for the famous Van Gogh painting. It looks so similar to the painting! We also visited the hospital near here where Van Gogh stayed in 1889 and was the inspiration for a number of his paintings.

We saw so many beautiful squares like this one in Arles. Lots of World War II history in this city, with a touching tribute to American service men and women.

We certainly wouldn’t miss visiting a few vineyards.  Here’s Roy in front of the vines.

There was just so much to see and do; we couldn’t fit it all in.

Of course, we wouldn’t miss the wine cave!

We bought some really expensive wines, but this inexpensive Beaujolais we got in Beaune was fantastic!

You can tell we are enjoyed the wine cave tour.

The Hospital in Beaune was founded in 1443.

So much history and beauty in Beaune.

The view one day from our cabin, cruising the river.

We weren’t only interested in history and wine–the chocolate was wonderful.  At this chocolate bar, the manager was getting ready to close up for the summer as he said refrigerating this chocolate would ruin it!  We all agreed it was wonderful and were happy to help him reduce his inventory.

Had a chance to ride the Train de l’Ardèche for a locomotive ride through the deep gorges of the Ardèche plateau, cut by the Doux River. Members of the French Resistance hid here during the war.  This wasn’t the real train, but a front to take photos after the train ride.

Roy picked out this wine in a small bar/cafe in Lyon.  It was outstanding.

Sandra took us on a tour of the famous market in Lyon named for chef Paul Bocuse.

Now that is a lot of sausage!

Lyon is famous for its building murals, so, of course, I wanted to have my photo with one of murals depicting one of the wines of the region, Beaujolais, made in the area we visited!

Can you believe this old cathedral in Macon, lit at night?  Jackie and I had to have a photo.  This was the only night we could leave the boat after dinner and we found a wine festival and then walked by this square on the way back to the ship. Beautiful!

We had to have a toast in our cabin before the end of the trip.  Great time and great friends! I’ll have to report on our next adventure soon.

2018-03-14T20:40:54+00:00February 16th, 2017|Travel|2 Comments


  1. Laurie February 17, 2017 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    Looks like a great time! Pictures are beautiful. Wine and chocolate not so bad either!! ha

    • Phyllis Admin February 17, 2017 at 3:26 pm - Reply

      Laurie: It was a fantastic trip, and we all have great memories of it. We have another adventure planned, so I will have to document it as well. Best, Phyllis Piano

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