Seasons Greetings 2018

What better way to celebrate the season and all the Xmas music we've heard countless times than by listening to versions played in the style of Albert Ayler!  Yep, and we get damn good performances as well.

You can check out the music and purchase at Mars Williams' Bandcamp page.  You'll love this stuff!


Now I'm REALLY Embarrassed

My granddog's parents have done it again!  I'm sure Melon just wants to break free and play in the mud.  Maybe they should have had kids...


Big Euro Trip--Night Walk

We arrived at the village of Viviers in the evening.  This set up a night walk, kinda odd, but sometimes how things go on these cruises.  We certainly missed a lot, I could see vague outlines of chateaus and statues on the hillsides, but the dark created a neat effect just the same.  And we had the best tour guide ever!

So here are a few pics, most did not turn out well.  Still, some idea of the village and the ancient construction found therein.

And large murals on a bakery, a reminder of the murals found in Lyon.

Someday I hope to return to this village and see all it has to offer.


Big Euro Trip--Continued

We woke up the next morning in the pretty village of Tournon--Tarascon (depending on which side of the river you are on).  Across the river we could see the oldest vineyards in France, along with the beautiful walking bridge designed an historic architect (whose info I've lost).  There used to be a vehicle bridge here as well, but it was too low for modern boats so had to be removed.

During the walking tour, we saw an old castle overlooking the town.

Our guide pointed out that the eaves on the older buildings in town indicated past wealth.  The more scallop layers on the eaves, the wealthier the former occupants.  One finds this detail in most older villages in France.

After the village, we were bused for a ride on the Tournon steam train for an excursion up one of the beautiful, narrow gorges of the Ardeche region of France.

I got a few pics of the gorge along with an ancient viaduct.

At the top of the gorge was a great old hotel, train stop.

The train itself is maintained to it's historical significance, as illustrated by the engine, and, especially by its toilet!

Ah, the French...  such wonderful detail on most everything in everyday life.


I'm Embarrassed

My son's dog, Melon, forced into indentured dog servitude...  all to celebrate (?) the season.  Ugly Xmas sweater indeed...

I'm calling the ASPCA...


Big Euro Triip--Side Trip

One afternoon we rode the tour bus to the medieval village of Perouges.  So much of Europe goes back centuries...  and to see still viable villages from these times is quite exciting.  I didn't take many pictures as the web site for the village does a much better job.  But, of course, I found a few things that amused me.  First, a great old truck.

And a couple structures within the village.

The sun was just right, shinning into the old cathedral through the stain glassed windows.

And an old stairwell hidden in a wall.

It's always a pleasure to visit these old, historical villages in France.  Such a break from our modern, techno world.  More info on Perouges can be found here.


Big Euro Trip--Vienne Edition

The first stop on our Rhone River cruise was Vienne, just south of Lyon.  Rather than taking the provided tour of the town, I struck out on my own.  I had read that the Gallo-Roman Museum was a must see, and it was even free on the day I visited. 

The museum is on a site with extensive excavation of the Roman occupation of the area (around 1AD).

Inside the museum, I was impressed by the number of restored, nearly complete, mosaics.

Also on display were an excavated oven and relics of the wine trade.  Wine seems to have been a major element of commerce, wealth, and power in the Gallo-Roman days.

From the museum. looking across the river, were some good views of Vienne and a castle overlooking the town.

Common throughout France are war memorials dedicated to the soldiers who fought in WWI, WWII, and the resistance fighters against the Nazi occupation.

I also walked through the town passing the offices of the Socialist Party and eventually found the Roman Ampitheater where the famous Vienne Jazz Festival is held each year.  Then it was back to the boat for lunch and a nap!


Big Euro Trip More Musee' Edition

The Musee des Confluences is maybe my favorite building in the world. How did they construct this edifice?  And I can't even begin to describe the interior.  Just fabulous.  Anyway, here are a bunch of pics of the building as we floated by on our river cruise.

Since it's at the confluence of the two rivers forming the central part of Lyon, I thought a pic of the actual point would be fun.

The tracks are from the old rail yards formerly in this part of Lyon.  The grounds surrounding the museum are wonderful and allow views of the city.  Also, the river cruise provided a new perspective.
Here's another shot of the actual confluence, a pic looking back at a bridge crossing the Rhone with Fouviere in the distance, and a final goodbye to the museum and Lyon as we headed down the river to Vienne.