It's the third week of the season here on the Luciole and things have been a little different to usual due to the River Yonne flooding and navigation closing for a few days. As a result of this unfortunate and thankfully very rare event we've had an interesting and fun filled time with extra tours and visits all around Burgundy for our ten lovely and extremely understanding guests.
We started the week with the visits to Auxerre's cathedral and the vineyards of Chablis on the Monday The cathedral being a truly inspirational and grand piece of architecture, surrounded by the winding and fascinating medieval streets of the town, packed with boutique shops and cafés. Chablis as well as being a beautiful little town with its high hills layered with its famous vineyards is also an interesting tour as you see the processes involved in the wine production, and of course afterwards get to taste the fruits of all their labour.
On Tuesday we incorporated a full day visit to the ancient and charming town of Beaune, another name famous for its wine production and rich history with it's auctions at the superb Hospices de Beaune being the primary wine auctions in France.
Wednesday was as usual with a morning tour of the gorgeous village of Noyers, with its weekly market and twisting streets leading up to the castle ruins atop the hill, the perfect place for a walk and a coffee in the sunshine. In the afternoon we invited the very friendly and always welcome Rosemary to come to the boat for a few hours of "colour me beautiful" A very fun idea in which as a group you pick the colours most suited to the person in question, choosing what tones and shades people should wear, something every crew member has been through also, pretty informative if you have a dress sense akin to mine, that is to say no sense at all.
On Thursday the group visited the extraordinary Vezelay in the morning, a place of majesty and real historical importance as the starting point of La Pelerin, the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, one of the most important Christian Pilgrimages throughout History, third only to Rome and Jerusalem. This was followed in the afternoon by a relaxing visit to a spa for a bit of pampering for the ladies, fortunately for tour guide Anna it was a good opportunity to "test the facilities" or so she said, with a big smile on her face.
Friday was another day of two trips and more, the morning was spent at the weekly market in Auxerre, a big market for mostly food and regional products, but spend enough time walking around and you'll see just about everything you could ever hope to buy here. The afternoon involved a short visit to the Roman ruins at the town of Escolives, a place we have never visited as a group, but one that was quite fascinating and extremely well preserved. The passengers also joined Marc in the kitchen for a cookery demonstration before enjoying the meal they had helped prepare at the customary Captain's Dinner.
So a good week all around, and a busy one at that, with so many different activities and things to see just a stones throw from the river, it's a wonder why anyone would choose to holiday anywhere else.