Leaving the Saone
Hello again, Bonjour from France!
Yesterday after a walk through Chalon sur Saone, a larger city on this barge trip, we spent the day on the lovely 22 passenger vessel cruising on the Saone river. Plenty of swans and beautiful scenery as we coasted along. A fun day of getting to know and spend time with new friends made on this journey. Sunshine, hot weather, jacuzzi tub, lovely lunch.
Last night we stayed at Saint Jean de Losne. A small group of us picked up some grocery items at the local Carrefour and had a picnic on the deck. After we experienced an exciting lightning and thunder storm. Crazy wild water and wind.
Our stop today at Longecourt-en-plaine to view the castle of Chateau Longecourt and hosted by the Count of Longecourt. We walked from the lock stop through a residential area and to the castle. Some folks took the barge provided bicycles. Some of us walked and were prepared to enjoy a tour of the castle and then catch up by walking locks until we could walk on the barge.
In the middle of the lock the barge rides the water, rising until the door is at the same level at the side of the canal for s brief moment and that is the magical and only way to get on board. For the past number of days, with the exception of the day on the main river Saone, this has been our daily activities.
Getting on and off the barge at the locks and walking between sometimes for several kilometres. It is great so people can select how long they walk, at their own pace, and enjoying some form of exercise. There are also bicycles on board if a person wants to ride between the locks, much faster travel than. The barge. Walking fast is at a pace faster than the barge moves along the canal. Lots of photo ops!
Along the Canal de Bourgogne, we walk to the Longecourt Chateau, which was built in the 15 century. It started as a fortress. 1636 last big battle occurred here. After that the owners opened the courtyard and made the draw bridge into an actual bridge. The windows were closed off and they put plaster on walls. Today the moat has water in it to help keep it wet to keep from cracks.
The chateau has its own chapel with fresco paintings still on ceilings and walls. Stone archways and tile floors tell as story, a reminder of how it once was. Chapel stone is old and dates from 1498.
We visited a few large rooms and heard stories from the man who is the sole caretaker and groundskeeper of this very large estate. We leave him some money and graciously thank him. We begin our walk back to the barge.
Although we could see the dark grey clouds coming and knew it was going to rain, we got caught in a huge wind and rain storm. Walking almost 7 Kms in pounding rain, hail, wind through puddles and trying to catch the barge at the right moment to get back on. Great teamwork and fun in making the trek in record fast time. We dripped on to the ship, soaking wet and muddy.
We stayed the night tied up at petite ouges… two houses and a church marked this stop, not even a village.
It was a great adventure. This whole trip has been wonderful in every way. Tonight we stop in Dijon and share a dinner together before disembarkation tomorrow at the train station.
Three of us travelling together to Geneva for one full day of sight seeing and then back to Canada.
Happy Canada Day weekend!
Leaving the Saone