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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Beaujolais

Beaujolais is a wine region south of Beaune, where the primary red grape varietal is gamay. It is an area of rolling hills dotted with tiny clusters of houses and carpeted with vineyards. We visited a small family-owned-and-operated establishment, where the proprietor (the man in a checked shirt) took us into the vineyard to talk about the cultivation process, and then let us sample the finished product.

Les Cygnes

Swans are ubiquitous on the Rhone river. We've seen hundreds. This one is a juvenile; it still has some of its gray baby feathers.

Monday, October 27, 2014

La Maison des Canuts

"Canut" was the term for a weaver in the textile industry in Lyon at the time of the development of the jacquard loom. The Maison is a museum dedicated to the lives and work of these weavers. In one part of the museum is a 150-year-old loom set up to weave brocade. The cloth is being woven face down, as seen in the first photo. The second shows the face of the cloth as it rolls onto a beam. The third shows part of the loom, looking toward the weaver (the guy in the gray T-shirt at far left).

There is one shuttle for the ground (which is itself a patterned weave) and shuttles for each of the colors of the brocade patterning. Since the brocade areas are separated by lots of ground, often there are multiple shuttles for *each* color, to avoid wasting thread in long floats. In this case, there are 7 brocade colors.

The cloth is a recreation of a fabric originally commissioned by an empress for the palace of  Fontainebleau. Today's price: 2000 euros per meter, or about $2500 USD.

A wonderful museum, if you're ever in Lyon.

En Route to Lyon

After a bus ride from Beaune to Macon through beautiful countryside, we boarded our river boat. After settling into our cabin we took a walk through Macon, which is brightly lit at night. The next day we cruised downstream to Lyon, arriving in late afternoon.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Beaune

Wine Central, if you love Burgundy wine, white (chardonnay) or red (pinot noir). We went on a tasting trip through the 'caves' under the city.

Giverny Again

The dahlias, chrysanthemums, and other Autumn flowers were abundant and gorgeous. There is a team of gardeners at work year-round.

Giverny

Claude Monet lived here. Too late in the season for water lilies, but plenty to see, anyway.