I thought I would post some of my favorite photos from our trip. I spent two full weeks going through two or three thousand photos of Bill's, Graham's and mine to put in a photobook. With that finally behind me, I'm just not up to doing another "photolog" here on the blog. But I would like to share some of my most favorite memories. So here they are, in no specific order.
This was taken on a Monday morning after leaving a very rainy Lyon and heading down the Rhone to a small town called Tournon. So much of the landscape in this area is related to wine. We could be looking at grapes from Beaujolais or possibly Burgundy. I really don't remember all the facts from the many lectures we heard on wine production. I know that the hills were alive with vineyards and each plot appeared to be planted in perpendicular directions. What we could see, but was hard to capture on camera, were the hundreds of sections of grapevines and all were claimed proudly by displaying huge billboards with names of vintners. We watched them for miles. It was intoxicating.
I loved being able to go back to Giverny and seeing Monet's gardens again. Late June is a fabulous time to see all the flowers in full bloom. We arrived so early in the morning that the maintenance people were still cleaning up the pond, so I was unable to get a good wide shot this time. However, the water lilies were in much greater splendor than before and I was able to capture them in several photos. This one brings out some of the color along the bank of the pond. Going the second time, I didn't experience the original "ooh, aah!" moments as I knew what to expect. But I could never be disappointed in the vast array of color and variety of flowers that are found there. Cameras were clicking all over the place!
One of the real highlights for Graham, Bill and me was the preponderance of Roman ruins and relics in this part of France. The Grand Circle brochure hinted at such a find, but we must have just read over those lines. Yes, we anticipated the Pont du Gard (pictured above) and even went the extra mile to take a special tour to see that structure. It was truly magnificent and the museum there was a real bonus. But we had no idea about what we would see in Avignon, and more specially in Arles. There is a 2000 year old Colosseum and Roman theater in the middle of the "old town!" We were flabbergasted! We have since learned that there are at least two other Colosseums in this part of France. Who knew?
This last photo is so typically French, it is the one I selected to make an enlargement for framing. The name of this restaurant is coincidentally the same name as the B & B where we enjoyed our home-hosted meal in Tournon. It translates "Old Mill" and must be a popular moniker for eateries that have found their way into these very old buildings.I love the colorful tables and umbrellas and the fact that diners can enjoy their meal right on the river and watch the many popular river boats like ours meander by, maybe wondering about the travelers ~ where they are from, what they think about France. This is what I'd like to do if I were magically transported to a new life in France!
As I find time I will post some more of my favorites here. I love looking back at our trip and remembering the special moments, the beautiful places, and the new friends we made.