November 17, 2012

Venice Under Water

I was shocked by photos of the recent flooding in Venice. They reminded me of how fragile some of the world's most famous and treasured sites really are.

When I was there two years ago, there was minor flooding of St. Mark's Square. Acqua alta - high water. My feet got wet and reflections of the lights from surrounding buildings added sparkle to the scene, but it was nothing serious. Flooding is a common occurrence and the locals are ready with wooden platforms to serve as elevated walkways when the need arises.

Caffe Quadri on Piazza San Marco

Tournus and the Mâconnais

Tournus, July 2012 - We awoke in Tournus this morning. The town dates from Roman times and became an important monastic center. The key site is the Romanesque Abbey of St. Philibert.

After breakfast we stepped off the ship and onto the quai to begin a walking tour of the town.

Avalon Scenery in Tournus

November 11, 2012

The Cure for November


It must be the worst month of the year. The landscape is cold, grey, bleak. Trees are bare, the sun fails to shine, and rainfall – or worse, snowfall – is frequent. For Canadians, there's not even a long weekend to break up the monotony. And winter still looms ahead.

The best thing I can say about the month is that it doesn't have thirty-one days.

Beaune, Wine Capital of Burgundy

Paris, July 2012 - Today we departed Paris and headed south by bus into Burgundy to board our river cruise with Avalon Waterways.