A week in Provence

Introduction to the river  - Part One
How can anyone adequately  describe something as ethereal as charm?

pro1_400Posted aboard the River Royale 

Since 9/11 and Iraq, many if not most Americans feel ambivalent about visiting Europe, and the US-French connection has always been at best a love-hate relationship.

But a wise American cruise company has changed all that in the most dramatic fashion.

UniWorld tames Europe for America

We were invited by an the LA-based river cruise company UniWorld to try out a brand new luxury hotel barge on The Rhone and Saone Rivers of southern France.

After a dozen forays into the continent with ever increasing doubts, we overcame our resistance due to an unquenched desire to see the area called Provence about which countless others have written with unreserved praise.

Our surprise and delight is complete.

In a dozen or more previous trips to Europe, we have never received better or friendlier attention, and the UniWorld's French crew acted more "American" than most our fellow countrymen.

Add to this classic Continental charm and you will finally find the France of your dreams aboard the new River Royale which roams Provence on the Rhone and Saone from Arles to Lyon.

The photo above is in Arles where Van Gogh created many of his most wonderful  paintings, and we were there but an hour and understbad why.

And wait until we introduce you to Eric, Christian, Julian, Dominic, Alice, Oliver and their merry crewmates in our next dispatch.  In the meanwhile, here's the ship and the bike I borrowed from Jean-Marie in Lyon in front of the university.  -Walter & Patricia Brooks

NEXT WEEK: Why UniWorld is perfect for Americans 

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