November 17, 2012

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

The Quai,Tournus

A stroll through the cobblestoned streets revealed many charming sights.

Tournus, Burgundy
Tournus Church
Streets of Tournus

The shop windows were equally appealing.

Strawberries and Cheese

The Abbey of St. Philibert was the highlight of our visit. From the outside, the church appeared heavy and imposing.

Abbey of St. Philibert, Tournus

But once we entered the main nave, I was surprised by the warmth of the rose-coloured walls and stained glass windows.

Abbey of St. Philibert Interior
Abbey of St. Philibert Interior
Stained Glass Window
Zodiac Mosaics in the Ambulatory
Cloister of the Abbey of St. Philibert

I noticed these plaques set into the paving stones of the streets near the Abbey. Do they possibly depict St. Philibert?

Marker in the Streets of Tournus

We returned to the ship for lunch. Then we boarded a bus for the optional excursion into the Mâconnais district of Burgundy for a chardonnay wine tasting. The ship would sail on to meet us in Mâcon.

Burgundy is lovely - the definition of bucolic. We travelled through charming towns and lush valleys where Charolais cattle grazed on the hillsides.

The Mâconnais, Burgundy
Charolais Cattle

We stopped at the Rock of Solutré, a limestone escarpment which towers over the vineyards below.

Rock of Solutré, Burgundy

Then we carried on to Chateau Pierreclos for the wine tasting.

Chateau Pierreclos, Burgundy
Burgundian Tiles, Chateau Pierreclos
The Medieval Castle
View from the Grounds of Chateau Pierreclos

I was surprised to learn that the cost for one oak barrel is approximately 600 euros. After purchasing a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé and a vine peach liqueur from the gift shop we returned to the ship in time for Happy Hour (2 for 1 Kir Royale), followed by the Welcome Gala Diner.

We remained docked in Mâcon for the night and enjoyed a beautiful view from the deck after dark.

Mâcon at Night

In the morning we would have an early departure to Lyon, the third largest city in France.

Next:  Lyon - Frescoes and Traboules


  1. Thanks for sharing these for my Travel Photo Tuesday theme. What a beautiful part of the world. Although I love the variety of these shots and in particular the landscapes, I think my favourite is actually the beautiful simplicity of the sunflower!

  2. Thanks, Kellie. I'm partial to that sunflower myself. It was growing where it shouldn't have, in a crack between the street and a wall. I use it as my profile photo.


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