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All Alone On The Rhône

Ok, we weren’t really alone - we had about a hundred oldies to keep us company the whole time!

Anyway, despite Sam and Simon’s protestations (“It’s only a little boat!”, “There’ll be lots of old person things!”), I was mighty impressed with our river cruise.

On the day we boarded we took a coach from Lyon to Dijon, stopping in a little town called Beaune. There we ditched the oldies to do some wine tasting!

Excitingly, Laura decided that she likes (some) white wine (Côte du Rhône). Also, the tasting place had run out of glasses, so we got special wine tasting dishes that they used in the old days (when they didn’t care about the smell or the colour, just the taste). We are planning on making them into candlesticks when we get home.

Back on the bus, until we arrived at the boat! The bus had very cool back seats, all around a table, which was fun.

The boat was lovely, and bigger than I expected considering it had to go through locks and everything. The crew were all very friendly, and because there weren’t too many of them we got to know a few of them (the receptionist managed to learn everyone’s faces in about 2 days!).

I was very impressed by the food, which was very nice, and also the size of our rooms.

We saw lots of little towns (just look on the map at the top!), which weren’t too touristy, which was very cool, and also the boat had some bikes that we borrowed a few times to go for nice cycles.

It was very exciting in Lyon, we biked to a big park and found a zoo there! Also, we found a little self-driving bus that went around the area where we docked, which was lots of fun! We even got to experience an emergency break as someone walked out right in front of it!

The other high point was when we were in Tournon, and we found the Valrhona chocolate factory, along with it’s shop. Free samples of all the types of chocolate! As much as you want! Yum yum yum! We all ate a bit much, especially Simon, who I think felt a bit ill afterwards. Of course, back on the boat that evening there was a full boat chocolate tasting session, with more Valrhona chocolate, which made me feel a bit queasy. I powered through it though - you can’t turn down chocolate!

The locks were heaps of fun, especially the really deep ones. It felt like we were sinking, seeing the walls rising up around us! The brave ones of us would go out on the front deck, and try to stand in a patch that wouldn’t get soaked by falling drops as we went under the gates.

We finished the tour a day early, and caught a plane to Athens, ready for our second cruise!