River Saône: Lyon, Restaurant Paul Bocuse

Wanderlust at the pontoon in Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or

The rumors are true; we do brake, or moor, when fine dinning opportunities present themselves. Continue reading

The Rhône and Saône: The Trip From the Mediterranean to Saint Jean de Losne

For Wanderlust’s return trip to Burgundy there were no viable route options. She could get back in days on the Rhône and Saône rivers, superhighways on the scale of the inland waterways of Europe. Short of loading Wanderlust onto a … Continue reading

The Rhône: Avignon to Port Napoleon

Pulling away from the quay in Avignon’s port Wanderlust turned about and headed downstream on the Avignon branch of the Rhône. Once again she passed by Pont Saint-Bénézet, Avignon’s partially intact bridge made famous in the song “Sur le pont … Continue reading

The Rhône: A Close Encounter in Vallabregues

While we were moored in Aramon we saw a pair of French Canadair firefighting planes working downriver in the distance pulling water from Rhône. We learned later that the planes were fighting a fire near Nîmes, about 30 kilometers away. … Continue reading

The Rhône: Villeneuve-lès-Avignon

In the 13th and 14th Centuries Avignon was at the wrong side of the border with France. The commune’s bridge, Pont Saint-Bénézet, linked the two sides of the Rhône River. It was a strategically important connection. On the left bank … Continue reading

The Rhône: Aramon to Avignon

Avignon’s famous half bridge, Pont Saint-Bénézet

Wanderlust left Aramon heading upstream towards Avignon. For now her journey to the Med would be suspended. Instead we would backtrack up the Rhône to Avignon, with the hope that we’d find a mooring spot at the town’s quay this time. If there was no space available to moor our plan was to turn around and head back to Aramon. The next comfortable mooring option was too far downstream to comfortably reach. Continue reading

The Rhône: Écluse du Châteauneuf to Aramon

We left the visitors’ pontoon at the Châteauneuf lock in the morning with the objective of reaching port de plaisance in Avignon for the night. Historic Avignon is one of the destination stops along the Rhône for boaters and other … Continue reading

The Rhône: Bollène-Écluse

Guadiana leave the lock in Bollene.

On the Rhône, between Valence and Avignon is the famous Bollène-écluse. River navigation infrastructure-wise the impressive Bollène lock is the highlight of any trip on the Rhône. It is the deepest lock on the Rhône River and indeed in France. Boats using this lock gain or lose 23 meters in altitude in minutes. That’s roughly the height of a seven-story building. It is very unlikely that Wanderlust will ever pass through a deeper lock. Continue reading

The Rhône: Destination or Superhighway?

Passing under the TGV viaduct near Avignon

As we headed down the Rhône we couldn’t help but notice how many pleasure boats seemed to be cruising the river as fast as possible. It is more typical of craft on the inland waterways to linger, move slowly, and savor life in France’s slow lane. But for many the Rhône seemed to be something to complete quickly as if there was a time limit. For sure, with long cruising days, a boat can cover the entire length of the Rhône in three or for days. But why would they want to? Why do boaters hurry past the Rhône? Continue reading