Wednesday October 1, 2014

Both Kendra and I were confused when we woke up this morning – we were in Tournon again.  The difference is that this town is Tournon sur Rhone, not Tournon sur Saune.  Kind of a difference.

We had a late day to get off the ship so we had a nice sit down breakfast after mom and I went for a walk around town.  It was a really cute little town with an amazing castle that is built into the rock around it.  And it was connected to another town called l’Hermitage.  Interestingly enough, the one town, Tournon is in one of the poorest districts in France, called Ardeche and l’Hermitage is one of the is one of the richest.  They are only separated by a bridge, but because of the wine vineyards and the ancient salt taxes in l’Hermitage, the two cities are very different and the wealth in each place is also so different.

We visited vineyards on both sides of the valley.  The Hermitage vineyards are organic and the wines are made from the Syrah grape.  It was great to climb the hill through the vineyard.  Beautiful views and perfect temperature.  We were pretty lucky with the weather.

On the other side of the valley, above Tournon, are the Saint Joseph Vineyards.  We climbed up a bit here to visit, but stopped at the ramparts to take looks out over the city and to have a wine tasting.  It was great because we got to have an open-air winetasting of the local wine.  The tour guide actually works in a lab where she specializes in the chemistry of wine. How cool is that?  Definitely not a job that you hear of in Canada all that often!

After our walking tour was over, mom, Kendra and I headed back over to l’Hermitage to go to Valrhona chocolate shop.  I was reluctant to go because I have not had a lot of luck with “free samples” at these chocolate places.  This one was awesome.  The chocolate was so amazing and there were so many samples that I was almost feeling sick by the time we left the shop.  Definitely worth the walk over to see the shop!

We were walking back to the boat and Kendra and mom had a bit of a panic attack – the boat was in the middle of the river!!  We all knew that the boat wasn’t leaving and that it must have just been moving away from the shore to let another boat leave, but it was slightly disconcerting to see the boat in the middle of the river!

We had an early day back on the boat because of the distance we needed to cover before tomorrow.  However, it was a great afternoon.  We sat on the upper deck and laid in the sun.  We had a nice, light lunch in the sun with the most amazing mojito’s ever.  I also had a spectacular fall off the back of my lawn cot – it was pretty epic.

Dinner was awesome as well  – like it always is!  I am becoming quite the drinker. Lol.

We skipped the music and drinks after dinner because it was cold.  Funny how cold is everywhere, even when it’s warm out!  I dislike AC sometimes.

Night,                             -Allison


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