Cruising — and Imbibing — Down the Rhone River

Who could resist the fine wines constantly thrust your way on this 7-day wine-themed cruise down the Rhone River in France? Not I. It would have been impolite to refuse. P1000438The “adventure” for the Adventure Geezer on this trip was getting to my cabin without falling down the steps. Most of the time I succeeded.

Its been a couple of weeks since the trip ended. To be honest I was having too much fun to sit in my cabin and update my blog during the trip. Besides, I was often barely coherent.

Then I returned home with just enough time to unpack, repack for my white water rafting trip on the Green River in Colorado and Utah, followed by a spa/hiking “adventure” in Vail. Its a tough job…..

In any case, I’m now home and have the time to update my blog on the Rhone River trip, mostly with photos. The article will come out sometime this fall. If you are a follower/subscriber of my blog you will receive an announcement when it comes out.

One of the main attractions of the trip, which was operated by AmaWaterways, my host for the trip, were the wine-tastings, wine-pairings, and seminars led by Freddy Arredondo of Cave B Estate Winery in Eastern Washington….P1000290…but they were far from the only reasons. Even more important for me was the opportunity to visit cities and towns on the river along the way in ease and comfort.

Lyon with its two rivers, the Rhone and Saone, flowing through the old town and converging just south of the city, creating views from almost everywhere but the old, narrow, winding alleys that weave through this historic city.P1000037P1000038P1000071P1000034

P1000067The excursion to the hilltop village Oingt (I won’t even try to tell you how its pronounced) in the Beaujolais region to visit a traditional vineyard and winery.P1000176 P1000178Vienne, especially the hike up to a rustic church at the top of Mount Pipet for amazing views of the city.P1000221 P1000218Tournon for red wine and chocolate tasting, a hike to the L’Hermitage vineyards above the river, followed by a wine tasting, then a visit to Chocolate City, the flagship store for Valrhona chocolates. I’m not sure which was the highlight of the morning, the views from the vineyard or the unlimited samplings of chocolate at the Vahlrhona store.P1000308P1000321 P1000322 P1000318 P1000319

P1000329Avignon, with its famous Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard, built in 19 BC.

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And for a change of pace, a visit to Camargue National Park for a touch of wildlife and natural scenery.

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Not to mention the many locks we passed through during the cruise down the river. Even my technophobic wife, who is otherwise uninterested in feats of engineering, was fascinated by the technical intricacies of the locks and the skill and preparation required to maneuver a large vessel through locks with only inches to spare.P1000273P1000268 P1000347It is possible that what I liked most about the trip was the fluid, smooth, silent means by which we passed through the environment, a means that enabled me to sense and observe without having to pay attention to and control where we went and how fast we got there.

Or maybe it was just the opportunity to drink as much as I wanted and not have to worry about anything more challenging than staying upright long enough to get back to my cabin and slide into bed.

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