Stage Two: Lyon to Arles: on the Via Rhona - Grampies Go On Their Knees - CycleBlaze

April 9, 2017

Stage Two: Lyon to Arles: on the Via Rhona

That rivers have personalities is clear to everyone, and there are lots of books and TV documentaries written about particular ones. The Seine, the Rhine, the Loire - all so storied and romantic. The Rhone, in principle, is one of these great rivers. It starts in the Alps near Andermatt and flows into Lake Geneva. Then at Geneva it leaves Switzerland and heads in France over to Lyon, where it turns and makes for the Mediterranean. Wow!

And, big plus, there is an official bike route along the Rhone - the Via Rhona.

We gave it a try in 2014 and enjoyed it. At that time, though, the route was not fully developed and navigation along it was a bit dicey. Also, we did not seem to see all that much of the river, so no river romance really developed. We did like the sweets - nougat in Montelimar and chocolate in Tain l'Hermitage, and we did dance on the bridge at Avignon!

This time around there is a new Bikeline book, which could signal the maturation of the route. Certainly the Bikeline into waxes poetic. As far as google translate can make out, it says stuff like:

"ViaRhona. Already the name sounds like a symphony. This is exactly what awaits you on your journey from the alpine landscape of the Schweitz to the light-filled life of Franconia.

Tranquil river oases, pure culture and a romantic past in cities like Geneva, Lyon, Avignon"

and so on and so forth.

We'll see, eh!

The only ViaRhona sign we saw near Lyon in 2014
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Cavalier attitude to this supposed European Union level bike route. We hope they have finished their darn dam or whatever by now.
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