*take nothing for granted!
Unless otherwise indicated all photos © Richard McKie 2005 - 2015

Who is Online

We have 87 guests and no members online

Translate to another language


We're aiming to have lunch in Vienne, a town on the Rhône, that was once the Roman provincial capital and retains some impressive Roman leftovers.

We find a pretty town of steep narrow streets leading down to the river.  One narrow lane tests my driving skills.  Breath in!


La Tour 
Vienne on the Rhône
Vienne on the Rhône


Interestingly, the eldest son of Herod the Great was exiled here.  Herod Archelaus - not his brother the one who ruled Judea after him, Herod Antipas, who ordered John the Baptist’s head doffed and who along with Pilot may have played a role in the crucifixion of Jesus.  

Comparing this countryside with our recent trip to Jerusalem one is reminded of the Monty Python skit concerning the ultimate torture of the Spanish Inquisition: – ‘Not the comfy chair!’

Later in history this town was at the heart of numerous religious schisms and conflicts. 

The oldest sections of the impressive Gothic Cathedral date back to the eleventh century but Vienne was a strategic town on Rhône that was the border between the Holy Roman Empire and France and was embroiled in the Crusades.



Vienne Vienne2
Vienne3 Vienne4

Vienne Cathedral



The Council of Vienne was convened there in October 1311 when Pope Clement V abolished the order of the Knights Templar and may have given rise to the Masons. 

The Cathedral fell into Protestant hands during the French Wars of Religion resulting in damage to objectionable decorations, deemed to be in contravention of the Biblical Jewish/Protestant/Islamic second commandment:  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath... etc.  The Roman Catholic second commandment is, obviously, different.

Later still, during the French Revolution, all religion was banished for a period.  Over the centuries great fun has been had by one and all massacring those of the opposite opinion.

In the twenty-first century in this quiet, peaceful and beautiful place as we enjoy our freedom of thought and action on this ideal day it’s hard to imagine anyone holding any religious views with such certainty as to justify such murderous pursuits, yet we know that just across the Mediterranean this is, indeed, still going on in defence of a similarly imaginary reality.

After some pleasant hours exploring the Roman ruins and


Vienne Vienne2
Vienne3 Vienne4

Roman Ruins Vienne



having lunch, and wandering the ancient streets, we regained our car parked high above, near the ancient cemetery, and continued on our way to Mirmande. 



Add comment

Security code

    Have you read this???     -  this content changes with each opening of a menu item







A decade ago, in 2005, I was in Venice for my sixtieth birthday.  It was a very pleasant evening involving an excellent restaurant and an operatic recital to follow.  This trip we'd be in Italy a bit earlier as I'd intended to spend my next significant birthday in Berlin.

The trip started out as planned.  A week in London then a flight to Sicily for a few days followed by the overnight boat to Napoli (Naples).  I particularly wanted to visit Pompeii because way back in 1975 my original attempt to see it was thwarted by a series of mishaps, that to avoid distracting from the present tale I won't go into.

Read more ...

Fiction, Recollections & News

Remembering 1967








1967 is in the news this week as it is 50 years since one of the few referendums, since the Federation of Australia in 1901, to successfully lead to an amendment to our Constitution.  In this case it was to remove references to 'aboriginal natives' and 'aboriginal people'.

It has been widely claimed that these changes enabled Aboriginal Australians to vote for the first time but this is nonsense. 

Yet it was ground breaking in other ways.

Read more ...

Opinions and Philosophy

The demise of books and newspapers



Most commentators expect that traditional print media will be replaced in the very near future by electronic devices similar to the Kindle, pads and phones.  Some believe, as a consequence, that the very utility of traditional books and media will change irrevocably as our ability to appreciate them changes.  At least one of them is profoundly unsettled by this prospect; that he argues is already under way. 

Read more ...

Terms of Use                                           Copyright