We arrived in Barcelona on May 3 for the start of our second summer in Europe. After consulting with Jose who took care of True East for the winter, we did a sea trial down to Stiges with our friend Uli Behr. It was then off to Seville for our Spanish road trip and back in Barcelona on the 10th.
Mike and Malli Gero joined us for a few days in Barcelona taking in a number of Gaudi masterpieces. Some jazz with Eric and Orly until late and Dan has a paddle tennis game with them the next morning. On the 14th we head out northeast on the Mediterranean coast. This is about 200 miles to Sete, France where we will enter the first canal taking us to the Rhone River.
Our first stop in in Blanes where we visit the fabulous Jardí Botànic Marimurtra and walk the old town. With a careful eye on the weather, we move on to Roses where we spend a couple of days. The highlight here is a visit the Dali Museum in Figures and his home in Cadaques, what a character. Visiting the house in is beautiful seaside setting really gave one a better feel for Dali’s life and works.
We dropped the Gero’s off at Sete where they connected with an old friend for some additional time in this region. We proceeded from Sete to Avignon where we enjoyed a couple of day first tied to a hotel boat and then on the quay. The highlight being the Pope’s Palace from the 11th century. We then continued up the Rhone River to Valence, about 90 miles. There were six locks on this part of the river with no facilities for recreational boating in any of the towns along the way. In fact, this was pretty boring country. At Valence, we stayed for a couple of day to clean up the boat, provision and fuel up. Howard Yuan joined us here for a three day stay on board.
From Valance, the three of us headed up to Lyon with five locks spread over about 75 miles, again no facilities for recreational boats and few hotel boats in this area. Lyon is the third largest city in France and remains the textile capital. At Lyon we stayed at Confluence Marina, a fabulous facility off the river with power, water, wifi, etc. next to a major shopping center and a quick walk to the tram system. With Howard, we toured the Confluence Museum, took the funicular up to the Roman ruins, the beautiful Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere and the incredible Lyon Cathedral before he left on the 25th.
As our tour of Lyon continued we visited the Textile Musuem, The Musuem of Decorative Arts and the Musuem of Fine Arts. Another day of walking about 5 miles with Marcia doing a lot of window shopping. The town was a little rowdy as Montpelier just won the Rugby finals vs Lyon.
Ed Howe and Kim Keown joined us in Lyon on the 27th to continue our visit to the Lyon area.