I know we spent a lot of time in lochs last night; I was awake too often. Ducking out on the balcony to check on ‘what was happening’ was always an exhilarating experience in the cold night air.
We arrive in the small town of Viviers during breakfast and start the visit through the town with a stroll through this interesting medieval town. Most of the houses have a similar design with a narrow frontage, a larger door where the animals slept during the night and a smaller door, the entryway for the residents to the upper floors of one or two small rooms as living quarters. The third level was also living quarters. Today, they are worth only 50,000 Euros and the owners predominantly use them as summer holiday homes.
We make our way up through the narrow cobble stoned streets, which are laid with stones aligned in one direction for tracks for horse hooves to grip and the stones for the horse buggies tracks in the other direction. Arriving at the cathedral on the hill, we enter a magnificent place of worship in such a small village. The pipe organ recital is well worth experiencing. There are tapestries on the wall, each worth 700,000 euros to a million euros. They depict various ministries and moments in the life of Christ. The marble inlay on the altar is perfect and colorful.
At 11:15am, our ship departs Viviers and heads upstream during the afternoon, while we eat, rest, eat ice cream, drink tea; before taking a tour of the galley. Now we know where our circumference increase is coming from. Here’s a new saying, “I’ll see more of you at the end of the cruise.” The tour of the galley is interesting in that ten chefs/kitchen hands produce over 450 meals each day from a kitchen that is very small and confined. All the breads are baked fresh each morning. The food is purchased each day from the shops in each port so that the meat and vegetables is always fresh.
For those who want to know more about the Scenic Emerald, here are some details. Registration – Malta, Fuel – Gasoil, Weight – 2523.6 Tonns, Length – 134.68m, Width 11.38m, Max Capacity of guests – 167, Max Crew – 60.
We pass through a number of lochs today; each one is just wide enough for the river cruise boats. We have seen 3 others travelling downstream towards Arles. Tonight on arrival into Tournan, we are entertained as guests in a local home. Fortunately, the husband speaks very good English, however, his wife knows only French. Their house is not too far from the ship and the eight of us are able to walk through some of the town with the host giving us a guided tour, chatting along the way about the various reasons why some buildings differ in style to others. We chat for a while the lounge hearing stories of the area and their family and also about ourselves, a little.
For the meal, we have a zucchini pate with mayonnaise as a starter. The main course was a chicken and onion casserole on rice. Now, the dessert was a ‘hit’; homemade chocolate and I managed to score the one left over after the first serve. The wife is an artist and together, he has made coat of arms shields and on them the wife has painted the coat of arms for each of the towns where they have lived, where their children were born, the countries their parents came from, etc. These were all lined around the dining room against the ceiling. He shared with us a couple of photos of the barge that brought the “Scenic Emerald” around to the Rhone. And to top it all off, the travel show “Get-a-way” filmed in their house doing a guest/host evening to be used in a coming show on Australian TV. So we had a very pleasant evening with them prior to walking back to the ship together.
Famous French Person – Armand Peugeot
Born in Herimoncourt, Montbelieard, France in 1849, he was a French industrialist and pioneer of the automobile industry who created the famous car manufacturing company Peugeot. In 1913, when Peugeot was the largest car manufacturer in France, he left his work at the firm. He died in Paris in 1915.