The pleasure of having one’s hotel close by at all times was manifest in the recent UIAA EXPLORERS adventure on France’s Saon and Rhone Rivers, a cruise of discovery aboard the M/S Amadeus Symphony. Departing from Lyon on May 7, the ship carried approximately 110 passengers – including seven Illini couples – first northward into Burgundy, with its wine and historical dukes, then south through the warmth and lavender essence of Provence (though some might argue that the essence is actually garlic). Seven days of fascinating exploration ashore and splendid hospitality aboard spanned revelations various as Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals, the wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape (up close and personal!), Roman ruins that included a mind-boggling aqueduct, coq au vin and a series of beautiful towns and cities such as Avignon (former hangout of popes). Lectures by French history professor Claude Blanc enhanced the experience tremendously, as did near-perfect weather, excellent organization by AHI and superb company. Vive la France!
Tour host Mary Timmins