On our last afternoon in Lyons, Dianne, Keith and I joined an optional tour to a lovely mediaeval village called Pèrouges. This charming walled town, home to fewer than 1000 inhabitants, is a complete step back in time. Entry to the town is via a huge stone gateway carved in the fortified walls which surround the town. The steeply cobbled streets are very uneven and the main street, the Rue des Rondes, runs in a circle through the town. The architecture is varied. Many beautiful traditional stone houses have frontages directly on to the street while in the main square there are some houses with half timber frontages from the middle ages.
Pèrouges seems very authentic. Apparently its unique charm owes much to its founders, Gauls returning to the region after having been resident in the Italian hillside town of Perrugia. The town is a photographer’s paradise with ‘picture-postcard views’ everywhere you look. On the afternoon of our visit there were very few ‘signs of life’, with only one or two shops and cafes open.Very few resident vehicles are found within the town and visitors must park beyond the walls. This actually added a sense of mystery and wonder. One could actually imagine being there in the past. To finish our village experience we sampled a “galette’ (crispy pizza sprinkled with a sugar glaze) accompanied by a glass of Cerdon, a sweet sparkling rosé wine, from the local area in a very traditional alpine style cafe.
In the evening we enjoyed another delicious dinner on board and then everyone gathered in the Lounge for “the One and Only International Crew Show” It was very entertaining!