Thursday, October 14, 2010
Boating on the Saône in France
Chalon-sur-Saône from Geneva because our train was not running due to a strike in France. I was impressed by the well-maintained roads, great traffic signage, and speed-limit adherence. Once we got to Chalone, we off-loaded our gear and dropped off the car--I hoped we would return by train.
Saône. This lock was made for commercial river barges and had plenty of room for Jolie Catherine. This was an opportunity for Beth and I to show Virginia and Jack our knowledge of line tending in locks. After all, we were experienced with the Chicago lock that we'd taken Speakeasy through just a few days before.
Once we were through the lock, our next treat was seeing the village of Tournus, which features a 11th century abbey with a tower visible for several kilometers along the river. Here, we dined aboard, drank local Bourgogne wine, and slept like logs. The next day was to be a real canal adventure for us.
The morning was cold, windy, and foggy. Virginia had an exciting day planned, but Jack thought the weather was too iffy. After clearing the breakfast dishes and enjoying another cafe, Virginia convinced Jack that we should go. Beth and I didn't know where we were going, but were excited to shove off.
Seille, a smaller river than the Saône with it's own locks and scenery--many birds, fisherman, and cows. The first lock was just around a bend at La Truchère. This lock was much smaller than the one we went through the day before. It was also self service and a boat was beginning to lock through from above heading to the Saône. Since I'd not done this before, I watched carefully as a Swiss family operated the gates and paddles. In a few minutes, Beth and I were "experts" at locking on the Seille.