My Favorite Photos of France – Part 1

Boats on the Rhone River in Avignon, France
Boats on the Rhone River in Avignon, France

Last July Barb, her close friend Jana, and I joined 13 others on a French Waterways vacation. Barb and I also added on the optional 3-day extension to see the city of Paris.

I don’t want to tell any long, detailed stories about this fantastic vacation, but I do want to share some of my favorite photos that I took. I would say that I have 500 “favorites”. I obviously cannot, and do not want to post 500 photos into a web site formatted for blog posting! I have about 90 that I intend to post here over the next few weeks.

The photo above was taken from the opened window of our cabin on our first morning of the river cruise. We were on the Rhône River, on the western edge of Avignon, France.

The City Wall of Avignon
The City Wall of Avignon

The city wall around Avignon was built during the Medieval Ages.

Reminder: You can always view any photo at a larger size by just clicking on it. You will then need to use your browser’s “Back Button” to return to my story.

Before going through the entrance to that city wall, I turned around to take this photo of the giant Ferris Wheel.

Avignon Ferris Wheel
Avignon Ferris Wheel

Inside the city wall, the church on the left is Notre Dame des Doms, while the building on the right is the Palais des Papes (the Pope’s Palace).

Notre Dame des Doms behind the Pope's Palace in Avignon, France
Notre Dame des Doms behind the Pope’s Palace in Avignon, France

After our official guided tour of Avignon, Barb, Jana, and I went out again on our own to explore some of the other sites in Avignon.

We walked north from our boat upstream of the Rhône about ½ mile to see what is left of the Pont Saint-Bénézet (aka Pont d’Avignon).

Pont Saint-Bénézet (aka Pont d'Avignon)
Pont Saint-Bénézet (aka Pont d’Avignon)

We also went on a self-guided tour within the Pope’s Palace.

Inside the Pope's Palace in Avignon, France
Inside the Pope’s Palace in Avignon, France

The next day, we left the city of Avignon by bus, in order to visit a few other tourist attractions in the area. In the morning, we went to the Pont du Gard.

Pont du Gard aquaduct built by The Romans
Pont du Gard aquaduct built by The Romans

The Pont du Gard (literally: Gard Bridge) is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge, built in the 1st century, that crosses the Gardon River, from which it takes its name.

Pont du Gard aquaduct built by The Romans
Pont du Gard aquaduct built by The Romans

In the afternoon we drove to the Medieval town of Les Baux-de-Provence, which sits high upon a very rocky hill.

View from Les Baux-de-Provence Medieval City
View from Les Baux-de-Provence Medieval City

In this ancient town, I found it visually ironic to find this guy engaged in a thoroughly modern activity….

Modern smartphone user in the Medieval town of Les Baux-de-Provence
Modern smartphone user in the Medieval town of Les Baux-de-Provence

On our third morning of our cruise, our boat left its dock in Avignon.

View of Avignon from the Rhone River
View of Avignon from the Rhone River

The boat, the ms River Discovery II, slowly passed the Pont Saint-Bénézet (aka Pont d’Avignon).

View of Pont Saint-Bénézet (aka Pont d'Avignon)
View of Pont Saint-Bénézet (aka Pont d’Avignon)

The boat then turned around and headed back towards Avignon, so that we could take the deeper fork of the Rhone River to the west.

View of Pont Saint-Bénézet (aka Pont d'Avignon)
View of Pont Saint-Bénézet (aka Pont d’Avignon)

Cruising relatively long distances on a river usually includes going through a system of locks. We came our first one, the Ecluse d’Avignon, just a few miles north of Avignon.

Rising with the water in the Ecluse d'Avignon lock on the Rhone River.
Rising with the water in the Ecluse d’Avignon lock on the Rhone River.

We were headed to the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region.

Grapes in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region.
Grapes in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region.

We rode along on very modern, air conditioned buses through some very rocky terrain for vineyards.

Tour of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region.
Tour of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine region.

From very near the remnants of The Pope’s New Castle (Châteauneuf-du-Pape), we were presented with this very nice scenic overlook above the town also named Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

View over Châteauneuf-du-Pape, looking back down the Rhone River towards Avignon
View over Châteauneuf-du-Pape, looking back down the Rhone River towards Avignon

We walked down into the small, medieval town and spent about an hour investigating this charming little village.

Downtown Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Downtown Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The last photo that I want to show you from that 3rd day of our cruise was taken hand-held from our moving boat while our group was partying and drinking.

Sunset from the Rhone River north of Bollène.
Sunset from the Rhone River north of Bollène.

Besides just being another sunset photo, it does show 4 sources of electricity that we saw the French use: nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro.

I think that photo is a very fitting one to end part 1 of what I expect will be 5 part series to show my favorite 90 or so photos from this year’s vacation to France.

Thank you for visiting my (infrequent) blog.

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