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July 5-6, 2014

The dinner we had at a restaurant directly across the street from our Torino hotel was both elegant, perfectly presented and delicious. We began with a veal tartare (do you get the idea that we love raw meat) and a cuttlefish carpaccio. Both were so good, time stopped for a brief moment. Then, we had a tender veal filet and a bowl of homemade ravioli. All were accompanied first by Prosecco and then Barbera d’Alba red.  After dinner we walked down to the Po River, beautiful at night.

The next morning we boarded a train to Chambery, France and instead of going over the Alps, we went through them, tunnel after tunnel. We switched trains to Lyon and then again to Avignon. There we stayed in a caricature of a classic French boutique hotel. Tiny with even tinier rooms--Dick could not turn around in the bathroom so he simply backed out. We went for a short walk around the Avignon square which is the center of the yearly Avignon theater festival currently playing. The restaurants had names such as “Comedie” and “Acteurs” and we witnessed a number of flash mobs of actors and singers promoting their shows.

Later, also in the square, we dined on salmon tartare and foie gras while sipping a fine Viognier. With our veal we finished with a Chateauneuf du Pape.

After a lovely French breakfast in the tiniest breakfast room imaginable, Gwen went for a walk outside the Walled City to look for our Viking ship. She did find the boat, but more amazing, as she walked near the river coming the other way were our newfound Canadian friends, Silvester and Lucja, that we met at Paolo Manzone B&B. When they caught sight of each other, they simultaneously burst into laughter and marveled at the serendipity.  We knew they were planning a trip to Chateauneuf du Pape, but neither of us knew we were both going to Avignon. Astonishing.

Next, we boarded our Viking River cruise ship and awaited our rendezvous with Bill and Marsha Adler. We won’t need to get our “sea legs” since the river waters are perfectly tranquil. Our cabin has a nice balcony so we can sit and watch the French countryside. We currently have a beautiful view of Avignon from the balcony. 

We were sitting on our balcony, waiting for Marsha and Bill Adler to arrive. When we saw them we ran to the gangplank and greeted them.

We had lunch with the Adlers on the outdoor aft lounge and then Gwen and the Adlers took a walking tour of Avignon, with the group with our individual transmitters so we can hear the guide. Marsha and Gwen didn’t hear much because they were chatting most of the time, while Bill was in front taking in everything, as usual. We will be getting our orientation later today and we cast off tomorrow morning.



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Reader Comments (1)

Am finally catching up on your adventures and it seems like you are having the trip of a lifetime...and the ship hasn't even moved yet. LOVE your descriptions of food, people, cooking class, wine...so grateful you are blogging. Very funny that Gwen ran into your friends while looking for the Viking ship.

Continue to enjoy and blog. Thanks!

July 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKay M. DeGiorgi

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