The Saône and Rhone rivers had abated and so it was in the third week of April that we decided to head off on our cruise south. The speed of the rivers and lack of moorings for boats our size meant that we put in long days with few stops.
|Colourful apartment buildings in the rejuvenated old port at Lyon|
We did manage to get into Valence marina which was a welcome stop as it was only a short distance to a supermarket, enabling us to restock the fridge and pantry.
From Valence we expected that we would need to moor at the end of a lock as there appeared to be no moorings between there and Avignon. So for one night we perched on the pontoon at Bollene lock with a yacht rafted to us. As commercial boats run all night on the Rhone, it wasn’t exactly a restful sleep.
|The lock at Bollene looks inviting at night time|
With no plans to stop for any length of time on the Rhône River we tried contacting the marina at Aramon to book a night’s stay but no one returned our calls. Rather than get there and find nothing available we contacted the Port de Plaisance in Avignon and they said they could accommodate us. What a fortuitous decision! We liked Avignon so much that we decided to bring the car to the marina and ended up staying a month.
|The bridge in Avignon from the children’s song|
We had plenty of opportunities to wander around Avignon, exploring places that we may have missed in a short stay and to try out a few restaurants. There are three we can recommend: la Fourchette, on Rue Racine behind the Theatre; Le Carré du Palais, on the Place Palais du Papes, and Le Vintage on Rue Galante. All have different styles of presentation, at different price points but with great food and service.
|Dinner at Le Carré du Palais|
|Dessert at Le Carré du Palais|
|The wine cellar is the old bank vault at Carré du Palais|
|Evening view of Palais du Papes|
|Pont d’avignon at night|
|View from Rochers des doms|
|The spice stall at Les Halles|