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In the Summer of 2019, we had the privilege to travel to the South of France. Mom, Grandma, Trent, and I rendezvoused in Brussels, Belgium, after an eight-hour flight—which involved little-to-no sleeping. Another short flight to Marseille, France, plus a bus ride to Avignon, and we finally boarded our new home for the next week: the Viking Buri. Our time aboard the Buri itself was a joy. We got to pass through lochs and travel past ruins atop small, riverside mountains. Trent and I did a lot of dancing (many thanks to Giuseppe, the on-board musician). We had champagne with Michael, our Program Director, and joked at breakfast with Kevin, our very German server. But our time aboard the ship was nothing compared to all we saw of France. Viking’s cruise along the Rhône River was the perfect way to see a lot of France in a short amount of time. We saw Roman ruins and Medieval architecture, scenic vistas and vineyards aplenty. In this book, I’ve collected many of the photos taken during our time in France. Enjoy. I know I did. morgan lynn stockton, june



Arles, France


Avignon, France


ArdĂŠche Region, France


Tournon & Vienne, France


Lyon, France


Lyon, France


A R Day 01 LES

ABOUT ARLES In the last days of the Roman Empire, the city of Arles was the capital of Roman Gaul. Indeed, it was known as the “Little Rome of Gaul,” and boasts many Gallo-Roman ruins including Les Arènes; this ancient amphitheater seats 20,000 and is still used today for bullfights and plays. The town has an energetic feel, attracting farmers from the countryside to the frequent and famous Provençal market. It also enjoys a rich artistic heritage; the Mediterranean sunlight here inspired legendary impressionist Vincent van Gogh to paint a number of works. Many of Arles’s sights are immortalized in his paintings. Description courtesy of Viking

Les Arenes d’Arles, Roman Amphitheater

Discovering Van Gogh in Arles. (left) L’espace Van Gogh; (right) Cafe la Nuit

(left) Trent & Morgan at L’espace Van Gogh; (right) Sun-bleached shutters of Arles

Doors & shutters of Arles

Probably the most French photo you’ve taken so far. trent munsinger

Désolé. Je parle français un peu. Parle anglais, s’il vous plaît? morgan stockton, to literally anyone that spoke french too fast to understand

Alley going up the hill to a church in Arles, France.

Trent & Arles Graffiti

Morgan in the side of church ruins

Day 02


A B O U T AV I G N O N Completely encircled by medieval walls, Avignon’s narrow streets are lined with churches and remarkable medieval buildings. This “City of Popes” was the papal seat for 70 years in the 14th century after the sitting pope abandoned Rome and fled here. The massive church-fortress Palais des Papes, or Palace of the Popes, was the center of the Christian world during that controversial period. It remains a work of Gothic splendor. Another of Avignon’s notable structures reaches into the Rhône, the ruins of the Pont d’Avignon. The 12th-century bridge, immortalized in folk song and dance, once spanned the river. Description courtesy of Viking

The Palace of the Popes; (previous page) Gargoyles on the exterior of the Pope’s Palace

(left) Ancient olive tree by the Pont du Gard; (right) Morgan & Trent in front of the Pont du Gard over an original artwork of the olive tree; (previous page) Morgan in front of the aqueduct

(Not a TGV) Lavender Martini aboard the Viking Buri

I thought that the TGV would translate to something romantic, but it just literally means ‘high-speed train.’ But don’t go ordering a TGV at a bar. Because a Tequila, Gin, and Vodka will get you somewhere fast but probably not where you want to go. michael bright, program director viking buri


ABOUT THE ARDÈCHE REGION tour lavender, gorges and a cliffside village,

charming ardèche

Take in the natural beauty and endless charms of France’s picturesque region shaped by the Ardèche River. Enjoy a scenic drive with your guide and learn about one of the region’s most renowned harvests: lavender. Stop at the Lavender Museum and see its distillery, where the essential oil is extracted from the flower. Feel free to peruse the botanical garden, collection room and distillation warehouse. Continue to the Ardèche Gorge, one of France’s most spectacular natural wonders. Stop to admire this deep ravine, known as the “Grand Canyon of Europe,” and see the magnificent Pont d’Arc, a massive natural bridge that spans almost 200 feet across the gorge. Later, explore the picturesque village of Vogüé on the banks of the Ardèche, called one of the most beautiful villages in France. Enjoy a guided walk past its medieval houses and colorful gardens before returning to your ship. Description courtesy of Viking

Details from the Museum of Lavender in the ArdĂŠche Region, France

(left) Details from the Ardéche Region, France; (right) Pont d’Arc; (previous page) Gorges de l’Ardèche or “The Grand Canyon of Europe”

(left) Town of Vogüé; (right) Climbing roses of the region

T O Day 04 URN ON

ABOUT TOURNON-SUR-RHÔNE One of the most attractive cities on the Rhône, Tournon lies secluded between the river and the vineyard-blanketed granite slopes that nurture fine vintages. An ancient castle, built snugly into a rock, overlooks the riverside setting. A settlement has perched on this hill since Celtic times, but the stunning views from its overlook have never changed. The name of its neighboring wine-producing region, Tain-l’Hermitage, comes from the hermit who planted vines here after returning from the Crusades and invited travelers to drink with him. Today, his vines are awash in sunshine and produce a port-like wine and some stellar whites. Description courtesy of Viking

(left) Virgin Mary sculpture on the corner of an intersection; (right) Vine-covered window on a university in Tournon

Details from our ride on the Train de l’Ardèche, an original steam train, along the Doux Valley

Day 04, Cont.


ABOUT VIENNE See the spectacular amphitheater built into the hillside, one of France’s best-preserved Roman theaters; it hosted up to 14,000 spectators during its heyday. View the Temple of Augustus & Livia, an incredibly preserved 1st-century structure that has been out of use only since the late 19th century. Then visit the enormous Gothic Cathedral of St. Maurice, built over almost 500 years. You may also spend time exploring an old Roman neighborhood, today’s Garden of Cybele, whose grounds are dotted with fascinating Roman remains. Afterward, enjoy free time to browse the shops or relax at a pavement café or salon de thé. Description courtesy of Viking

(left) Chapelle Notre Dame de la Salette; (right) Temple d’Auguste et de Livie; (previous page) View of Vienne from the Chapelle Notre Dame de la Saleete

L Y Day 05 ON

A B O U T LY O N France’s third-largest city, Lyon straddles the Rhône and Saône Rivers. After Paris, it is considered the country’s most significant cultural center. The city offers a generous city scape of red-roofed buildings, tree-lined boulevards and riverside promenades. There is nothing like losing yourself among the cobblestone streets of Old Lyon, a rich collection of Renaissance architecture and intimate traboules, unique passageways through buildings that connect adjacent streets, all of it overlooked by the grand basilica atop Fourvière Hill. French cuisine is sublime here, with chefs like Paul Bocuse enjoying celebrity status. A salade lyonnaise with a glass of Beaujolais makes the perfect lunch. Description courtesy of Viking

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière; Lyon, France

(left) Morgan, Susan, and Janice outside the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière; (right) The vista from Fourvière Hill

Details of Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière; Lyon, France

(left) Secret Passageways of Vieux Lyon; (right) Roman fountain of a wealthy, private residence

If you have a free afternoon, you should try out the rental bikes. They have them all over and you can rent them with an app. Very affordable, just make sure to return them after 30 minutes of riding. But it’s a great way to get around. kevin, server aboard the viking buri

(top) Riding the Vélo’v bikes along the Rhône River; (bottom) Graffiti under one of the bridges along the Rhône; (previous page) Underside of a bridge crossing the Rhône

(left) Morgan in the Jardin Botanique of Parc de la Tete d’Or; (right) Bloom from the rose garden; (previous page) Jardin Botanique

Trent and the giraffes of the zoo within the Parc de la Tete d’Or

L Y Day 06 ON

(left) Coffee & croissant at a cafĂŠ facing a gothic church; (right) Gothic church

Morgan & Trent outside the MusĂŠe des Beaux Arts de Lyon over a map of the city.

Details from the MusĂŠe des Beaux Arts de Lyon

(left) Interior of CathĂŠdrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste; (right) Trent in front CathĂŠdrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste (formerly the Roman Forum) over an original artwork of Vieux Lyon

(left) Wine cellars; (right) Wine tasting in Beaujolais Wine Country; (previous page) Chateau on vineyard lands of Beaujolais Wine Country

I’d recommend Brasserie George, I can even point it out to you from the deck—it’s that close. It’s like a French diner experience; they have a lot of regional choices, and they brew their own beer. You should tell them it’s your birthday. It’s a very French experience. despina, director of concierge services the viking buri

La Brasserie Georges, Lyon, France.

Water to start, would be wonderful. Large or small? Umm...large, s’il vous plaît. conversation between morgan

+ the server

at brasserie georges, resulting in morgan forgetting to ask for flat water

Details from Morgan & Trent’s meal at La Brasserie Georges

See you soon, France.


Profile for Morgan Stockton

South of France | Avignon to Lyon, 2019  

In the Summer of 2019, we had the privilege to travel to the South of France. Viking’s cruise along the Rhône River was the perfect way to s...

South of France | Avignon to Lyon, 2019  

In the Summer of 2019, we had the privilege to travel to the South of France. Viking’s cruise along the Rhône River was the perfect way to s...