Friday, August 29, 2014


Monday 4 August
When we returned from breakfast we found an elephant on the bed. One of the features of APT cruises is the surprises made from towels that appear from time to time.
The morning was spent exploring sites in Tournon. Some went on a bike ride around Tournon and Tain L'Hermitage - another settlement on the other side of the river. Some went by bus to the hillside town of Boucieu-le-Roi. The rest of us went on a walking tour of Tournon and then visited the Garden of Eden (Le Jardin d'Eden) on the hillside overlooking the town.
One of the first buildings that we passed was St Juliens Collegial Church.
 The church building dates back to 1316 though there were earlier church buildings on the site dating back to the eleventh century. During the religious conflicts in the region 1563-1579, St Juliens became a Protestant church. It became a Catholic church once again in 1795 after the French Revolution.
Like many towns in southern France there are narrow streets, often with arches, to explore.
There has been a castle on this site since the tenth century but the present building was built in the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. On the outside castle wall is a war memorial commemorating the lives of soldiers from this region who died during the First World War and Second World War.
Across the river can be viewed the town of Tain L'Hermitage and the vineyards on the hill behind the settlement.
The bridge linking Tournon and Tain L'Hermitage.
The Garden of Eden is set on the slope behind the town of Tournon and is only a short walk from the centre of the town. The gardens were originally the gardens of a convent. Over time they fell into disrepair. The present owner is reconstructing the gardens.
A series of small gardens and niches can be discovered as the gardens are explored.
Good views can be had from the top of the gardens.
Along the garden walls fruit trees have been planted including this apple tree - most appropriate for the Garden of Eden.

Back on the ship we had lunch as the AmaDagio cruised towards Vienne. A highlight of the afternoon cruise was an ice cream party in the Lounge. This was followed by a session in the gym.

Dinner that night was in the Eriebris Restaurant - the small restaurant at the back of the ship where we were treated to a special menu. When you arrive you are introduced to the chef and staff. There are only a few tables in the restaurant and you can watch the food being prepared. It was a special dining experience.

Later that evening a walking tour of Vienne was provided including a ride in a small train to a lookout to view the city at night.
It was a different experience viewing a city at night.
One of the features of the town is Temple of Augustus and Livia, built in Roman times.
Even in the dark it provided an imposing sight.

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