We’ve been back for a week, and I figure I’d better write something now, before my 30-something memory can’t remember where we went and what we did. I guess the trip really started sometime last year during a trip to Seattle, when our friends Geoffrey and Annemarie announced they were getting married…in Lyon, France. Of course, we said we’d love to attend. Then, our friends Silke and Markus announced they too would be getting married…in Geilenkirchen, Germany, just a week after Geoffrey and Annemarie. So, our basic plan was to start in Lyon and make our way to Geilenkirchen somehow.
We flew into Paris and spent a night there, mostly so we could visit L’Orangerie, a small museum that houses two huge Monet murals. It was closed for renovation the last time we were there, and just reopened a few months ago. We had to wait in line a while and the humanity was dense inside, but it was worth it. To fight off the jet lag we walked around a lot and drank several espressos. I think we crossed the Seine 4 or 6 times thanks to Mandi’s navigation.
After picking up some snacks we took the fast train to Lyon and picked up the car we’d be driving around the rest of the trip. The wedding events gave us plenty to do, but we did manage to do a little sightseeing in Lyon. We found this view of the train station by getting lost and walking uphill way too long. We thought we’d get back late for the wedding but luckily misread the train schedule and arrived back just in time instead. We drove in the next day to do some laundry and ended up at a Roman amphitheatre afterwards.
On the way from Lyon to Beaune we got off the autoroute to drive through a couple of winemaking villages – Morgon and Fleurie. They happened to be harvesting grapes, which meant we didn’t get to visit any cellars except for the big communal ones, but we did get to dodge tractors on the narrow roads. They weren’t harvesting grapes yet in Eguishem, further north, so there were some grapes on the vines for me to photo.
Our last stops before Geilenkirchen were Beilstein and Burg Eltz. We stayed the night in Beilstein, enjoying the area’s surprisingly good white wine, and wandering up to a ruined castle (complete with beer garden, if you can believe it) and through the vineyards. On our way to Geilenkirchen the next day we stopped at Burg Eltz castle, apparently Rick Steves’ favorite in all of Europe. It’s touristy but impressive, mostly because it’s not ruined like every other castle around. It also had a beer garden, which didn’t seem quite as strange.
That’s all for now – I’ll dig through the photos for more worth sharing.