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Thursday, 29 December 2016

AMA Cruise and Land Tour in Provence - November 26th/15

I had a big breakfast from the hotel buffet.  We left the hotel about 8:30 am and drove to the Lyon train station.  We were required to put our bags outside our rooms very early; and  AMA took care of our bags except for carry-ons.  I am uncertain how our bags reached Lyon - maybe transported in a truck.

We boarded a high-speed TGV train at 9:30 am  - the trains travel at just under 200 mph. so it took us about two hours to reach Lyon.  These trains are very comfortable and a much more pleasant way to travel than by bus. 

We arrived in Lyon too early to board the AMADAGIO cruise ship, so we were driven to Place Bellecour, the central square in Lyon.  At one end of the square is a Ferris Wheel and there is a statue of King Louis XIV.  At the base of the statue, people had put tributes and memorials to the victims of the massacre in Paris.  There is a view of Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere and Tour Metallique, modeled after the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

We were escorted as a group into a shop which was a combination of restaurant, cuisine store, and book shop; it was called In Cuisine.  We were divided into three groups and given cooking lessons with some of us preparing the dishes.  For the good of the group, I just took photos.  The recipes involved using Beaujolais wine.  Lyon is within the Beaujolais wine area and considers itself the gastronomic capital of France.  After the cooking lessons we had some time to walk around and, after a big breakfast, I skipped lunch.

Tonight was our first night on board the ship.  We had a welcome drink in the lounge; it was a choice of champagne, wine, or orange juice.  I and seven others received an invitation to have dinner at the captain’s table.  November 26th was Thanksgiving Day in the US; so there was a traditional Thanksgiving-day meal.  For the appetizer, I had the tomato carpaccio, goat cheese mousse, pesto arugula and for the soup, the cream of pumpkin topped with whipped cream.  The lemon sorbet in sparkling wine cleared the palate. For the main course, I had the sliced turkey with carrots, peas, apricot-raisin stuffing, and mashed pumpkin.  For the dessert, I had samples of three desserts:  pumpkin cheesecake, a chocolate-caramel almond tart, and cranberry-orange sorbet.  Of course, I had a nice French red wine. A pleasant evening on the ship,  and after dinner, I went up to the lounge and had a few espressos.

Photos belong to Phil Bianco  

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