Thursday, July 30th ~ Viviers and cruising toward Avignon
The well written Uniworld brochure describes Viviers as:
“an enchanting village where time seems to have stopped centuries ago. Viviers has a long and storied history that goes back more than sixteen hundred years and a splendid architectural heritage to match.”
This was so evident in the stone buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, and medieval houses. Sycamore lined streets, some say planted to give shade to Napoleon’s soldiers, add charm and provide appreciated cover for us today.
The history tells of a division of the population based on religion, with the clergy living in the upper levels of the town and the masses down below. Our included 2.5 hour walking tour would take us past historic buildings, colorful windows adorned with flower boxes, slowly working our way up the hill to the fortified section for stunning panoramic views.
Here is a slide show to give you an idea of what the town looked like as we wound our way through it. The streets were surprisingly empty, with us only catching an occasional glimpse of locals as we passed through.
The Cathedral of Saint-Vincent is the smallest cathedral in France. The interior was certainly not as lavish as most of the cathedrals we have visited around the world. In fact, although nice, it was relatively unremarkable. But we were here to hear a very special organ concert.
But sometimes the best laid plans…
After we had taken a few minutes to examine the front of the church, snapped several pictures and settled into our seats, the concert was to begin. BUT, for the first time EVER, the organist was not able to get the organ to make a sound. He very apologetically announced that he would not be able to play for us.
Of course we were let down, but we mainly felt sad for the musician who was noticeable disappointed and embarrassed.
Oh well, moving on…
The evening before our cruise director, Emmanuelle, had promised us we would have a surprise on our morning tour. We were pleased to know that the non-concert was not the surprise she was referring to 🙂
So what was our surprise?
It was an invitation inside our local guides home. After seeing the stark exteriors of the buildings, it was a real treat to see what was behind those stone walls.
How lovely! I must say that her home was a hidden gem. She graciously invited us to wander around, check out each room, and then join her for a wine and cheese party on her private outdoor patio.
After returning to our ship, we set sail toward Avignon. As we slowly motored on, Tiffany and I both had a facial. What a relaxing time.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for those little unexpected moments. How fun it was to see “behind the walls” and get a wonderful insight into what life is like living in a small french village.