Barb on Viking Cruises

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WIT Agent Barb joined a Viking Cruise in Lyon and Provence in May. Here’s her report on the lovely visit. For more insider details and help planning a one-of-a-kind holiday in Europe, give us a call at 503-224-0180 or inquiry@wittravel.com. 

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The Viking ship was docked in a central part of Lyon, walking distance to old town Lyon, and a long (probably 5K) walk to the confluences of the Rhone and Saône Rivers. The ship stays in Lyon for 2 days. Viking offers an “active” walking tour of old town Lyon for an additional cost. We had some great experiences on this excursion – we were taken to a small silk shop where a young guy and his father still make silk using old-fashioned looms – they consider these looms the precursor to computers because they use punch cards to make the pattern. Hanging on the walls of this shop were some pictures that looked like black and white drawings but were actually silk designs.  We also got to ride the funicular to the top of the hill above Lyon, the views were amazing, on our walk down the hill we saw an old amphitheater still used for presentations and productions.

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We also took an optional tour to Château de Fléchères, an older mansion that is being restored by two people who purchased it over 20 years ago, it’s quite interesting, they have removed some of the wood paneling and found frescoes behind the wall paneling!

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Viking also offers an optional trip to Pérouges, a medieval walled town perched on top of a hill not too far from Lyon, with cobblestone streets and beautiful old stone houses, where people of the area still live today. Here we were given a taste of the local food – galettes de Pérouges, sugar coated goodie on a thin pizza like crust.

On Tuesday afternoon we finally set sail!

Next stop is Vienne – originally settled by the Romans – again there is a choice between leisurely or active walking tour. In the afternoon, we experienced our first set of locks on the Rhone river!

During our stop in Tournon we were taken on a steam train ride of the Doux Valley.  That evening we stopped in Viviers and had an evening walking tour of the town, it was dark and the town had many small lights, it was one of the more unique experiences we had, to top it off our guide lived in Viviers so she gave us many insights.   

Friday, we arrived in the walled town of Avignon –there is so much history here, our tour included a stop at the “Pont d’ Avignon”; many of us learned the children’s song in French class!  Viking’s optional excursion to Pont du Gard Aqueduct is very interesting, a huge structure built over 2,000 years ago without mortar, and still standing!

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Our last stop was in Arles, where Spain’s influence is still visible as this town still has bull fights, we also saw the famous yellow café where Van Gogh spent time.

Click Here for More of Barb’s Photos of France.

Overall, we quite enjoyed our trip, Viking’s Long Ships are very comfortable, meals were good, staff is good, cabins are well set up with lots of storage. There was a good combination active time and time to relax. We had very good weather which made the trip even more enjoyable. We were able to enjoy breakfast and lunch on the Aquavit Terrace, Vikings outdoor dining area.

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After our Viking cruise we made a short stop in Berlin, we found this to be a very interesting city, highlights were the historical walking tour which included a stop at Check Point Charlie, Brandenburg Gate, Hitler’s bunker, Museum Island, Berlin Television Tower, Jewish War memorial and The Wall Museum which gives you a feeling of what it was like in Berlin before the wall came down. The Welcome Berlin card was included when we purchased our ticket on the airbus to town, it came in quite handy, giving us discounts at some of the museums we visited.

Click Here for More of Barb’s Photos of Berlin.

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