Although our ship is docked at Tarascon, we are not given a tour through the town. Perhaps it is not ready to take an influx of tourists as this port is new to berthing river cruise ships that are as long as this ship.
After breakfast, we board buses and take a short 30-minute ‘grab a bit of sleep’ trip to an olive farm. It is down a narrow laneway but is said to be a very famous grove. There are over 5,000 trees bearing olives, which have become the winner of worldwide competitions. The old grandfather was not happy moving his processing plant into the world of automation, but had to agree that there was no effect on the quality of the olives his farm produced. Now, as there are no sons, one of his two daughters runs the farm and processing plant.
From here, we take another short drive to the village of Les Baux. This village is in a spectacular position atop a rocky outcrop crowned with a ruined castle overlooking the plains to the south. After an interesting history of both feuds and the mining of bauxite, Les Baux is driven entirely by the tourist trade, relying on a reputation as one of the most picturesque villages in France. Its population of 22 in the old village is a fraction of its peak population of over 4,000, and many of its buildings are picturesque ruins. We are too early for demonstrations of huge catapults which are given every day as the demonstrations are only shown from later on in April through to September, the height of the tourist season.
We come back to the ship for a Scenic standard lunch. The town of Arles is not far away and we are given free time in this busy town until 5pm.
The evening meal is a special Captain’s Dinner and the dress code has to change. I get away with not wearing a tie but Lyn says I look smart anyway. Our table is made up of 3 other couples born in China but living in Vancouver most of their lives. They have done many trips together in the past and it was interesting that they were not aware that Scenic Tours is Australian.
Lyn has just reminded me that we had a little problem with the wardrobe hanging space. We each had the same amount of space and hangers when we moved into the room. I thought of some shirts that needed to hang. When I looked for a spare hanger, there was none left in my cupboard. I have used two and the 6 spares that I had are now in Lyn’s cupboard.
Our ship starts moving at 7:00pm for the short journey to Avignon through the first loch. The lights of the town and the Popes Palace create a splendid photo. We moor beside a number of other River Cruise ships.