After a 25-kilometer bike ride through gorgeous French countryside this morning, we departed Vienne, France, this afternoon on one of the most beautiful days I have experienced on the rivers of Europe. The landscape was stunning, with the nascent blooms of spring bathed in the buttery glow of a perfect May day.
AmaCello was taking us to Tournon, about five hours downriver from Vienne on this particular day (the time require to transit varies based on traffic on the Rhone). Our arrival in Tournon was spectacular, with the 15th/16th-century Chateau de Tournon and its round turret highlighting a bend in the river. A beautiful bridge connected Tournon with its neighbor across the river, Tain L’Hermitage.
Our arrival also coincided with the closing of the polls in the first round of the French presidential elections. The next round, and a new president for France , comes May 7. France, as we know it, could change as a result of the elections, as voters rejected traditional candidates in favor of centrist and far right politicians. On an evening stroll through Tournon, all that I love about France appeared to be sturdily intact, the beauty of an ancient village and that fabulous sense of Le joie de vivre that leaves Francophiles like me with only a single dominant thought, Vive Le France.
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