A riverside stroll

“Flâner” – to stroll, potter or wander unhurriedly – is an appealing French word, which the philosopher Pierre Sansot defines thus: “It is not about making time stand still, but instead accommodating it, and not letting ourselves be rushed.”

Sometimes, the simplest things can be surprising – such as crossing the River Rhône, from bank to bank. The promise of a mellow interlude...

Begin on the east bank, shaded by hundred-year-old plane trees: you’re facing the medieval town once ruled by the Counts of Tournon. Admire the panorama: the castleperched on its rock; the time-worn ramparts further uphill, and the Hospice vines, cradle of a famed appellationSaint-Joseph. Continue along the regal river, taking time to scan the horizon. To reach the west bank, you must cross the famous Pont de Marc Seguin, the footbridge between twin towns: Tain l’Hermitage and Tournon-sur-Rhône. As you tread the wooden boards, the Mistral gently ruffles your hair: charm is all around. Glance behind you: the mythical Colline de l'Hermitage exudes a timeless allure. Bare sculptures in winter, the thousand hues of autumn... In each season, the vines afford an enthralling spectacle.

Halfway across, pause to take in the best of both banks: a view that weds Drôme & Ardèche.

On the west bank, your path continues peacefully. Be sure to savour this simple stroll – a taste of French art de vivre.

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