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Saturday, 31 December 2016

AMA Cruise and Land Tour in Provence - November 30th/15

After my big breakfast, I dressed very warmly and went on a guided one-hour walking tour of Tournon.  We walked to the Chateau de Tournon, which offered a fine view of the town and river from the Chateau's terraces. 

We then entered the Crozes-Hermitage Winery for a special pairing of wine and chocolate tasting.  The winery made home-made chocolates to be tasted with each of the three wines served - this wine tasting was different than any other that I have been on.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it - wine and chocolate can go together. 
After the tour we could have walked around the town on our own, but it was too cold so I hurried back to the ship.  For lunch, I had macaroni and grape tomatoes in a parmesan sauce with a mixed green salad.  They also served baked marinated chicken legs, which were very tasty.  For dessert, I had a Napoleon pastry, and also a few espressos.

When  everyone returned to the ship, it departed at about 1:15 pm from Tournon for Viviers.
After lunch, there was another lecture on wine and a wine tasting.

For dinner, I selected the foie gras pate and fig chutney with raspberry sauce - this was excellent.  For the soup, French onion soup and for the main course, the herb crusted lamb rack and lamb stew with ratatouille and potato gratin.  Serving lamb stew with the rack of lamb was unusual, but it turned out to be a very good combination.  The red wine, as one would expect from this area, was excellent.  For dessert,  I chose a variation of three items:  crème caramel, a pear tart, and homemade raspberry sorbet.  Needless to say, another excellent meal.

After dinner, at about 9:15 pm, we went on a “ghost walk” of the amazing medieval town of Viviers .  The AMADAGIO was able to dock right alongside Viviers, an small walled city located in the French department of Ardeche.  There is an extensive maze of narrow streets with some buildings having been renovated and others deserted and dilapidated.

To enter Viviers, we walked from the ship and proceeded down a long tree-lined road - this is a mysterious and eerie place to walk through at night with just a flashlight.  People still live here but at night, except for an occasional light inside a house and Christmas decorations outside, one would think the town has been deserted.  The streets are very narrow and either poorly lit or not lit at all.  One would expect ghosts to appear at night; and sure enough, one did materialize—with the help of AMA, of course, who hired an actor to give a few dramatic performances at selected locations.

Photos belong to Phil Bianco 

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