Tuesday the 2nd of April we left Moret-sur-Loing after more than 5 months of 'hivernage'. The cruising season has begun! Our first stretch was to Montereau-fault-Yonne, where the Yonne meets the Seine. We had to negotiate only one lock and arrived after a 3 hours cruise.
Our vieuw towards Montereau's Collégiale Notre-Dame et Saint-Loup and the spot where the first picture was made. Yes, we know, a lot of times it's more of the same. But let us have our fun, please, it's still so absolutely jolly new again!
Still Montereau. Vieuw onto la Seine looking downstream. L'Yonne joins here, coming from the left. Upstream la Seine is narrower and covers less distance than l'Yonne. So it would have been more logical, wouldn't it, to name l'Yonne la Seine and the other way around.
After being banned to Elba, Napoleon returned to France and reigned again for a period now known as 'Les Cent Jours'. One of his last victories was the Battle of Montereau on the 18th of February 1814. He was victorious against the Austrians and the Württembergers. This man is still mindboggling interesting!
Stage number two, on Wednesday the 3rd, from Montereau to Pont-sur-Yonne. The number of locks negotiated and the number of hours cruised are the same: six. A very new and handsome pontoon came into sight. When we came closer, we realized that we had to deal with a lot of geese and duck droppings however....
Pont-sur-Yonne seen from the present, ugly, bridge. The old bridge can be seen on the left side of the picture. Unfortunately the picture does not show the rest of the bridge - that is to say: this is (almost) all there is, there is no 'rest'. The old, beautiful and caracteristic, bridge was bombed away in the first year of WW II.
Lock keepers. In general they are forthcoming and friendly. Because of the sloping lock walls -we were going upstream, which appears to be easier than downstream- and the obligation to use a rope it is unavoidable to throw the rope to the lock keeper. This one made no effort whatsoever to catch the rope, although the first throw was near perfect. Diny named him 'Kabouter Plop' (Dwarf Plop). We are no longer into meting out more qualifications, but tempting it is......
On Thursday the 4th of April we cruised from Pont-sur-Yonne to Sens. Number of locks and cruising hours the same again, this time only two. On the way Diny spotted the first kingfisher; Simon the first swallow. Does this mooring spot look fine or what?
Like many other towns in France, Sens has got a fine cathedral: Saint-Etienne (Saint Steven). It is considered as the first of the great French Gothic cathedrals. Its construction began around 1135. That's going towards 900 years ago!
La cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Sens on the inside. Absolutely stunningly beau-ti-ful.
Friday April the 5th from Sens to Villeneuve-sur-Yonne. Four locks upstream and guess what: we needed 4 hours for the trip. Although a leaflet from the tourist office suggested otherwise we were unable to find anything of beauty or interest in this village. Sorry Villeneuve!
The 'Kabouter Plop'-picture already showed a sloping lock wall. This photo shows even better what it looks like. Especially further upstream, where the commercial traffic is practically absent, the locks are equipped with floating pontoons, as just visible here. Pleasure boaters ('plesanciers') are able to attach their boat to the pontoon - and the pontoon, attached to H-shaped rails, goes up with the rising water level. It makes life a lot easier.
Saturday the 6th Villeneuve - Joigny. Three locks, three hours, just for the record. As you probably have noticed we do moor a lot of times near to a bridge. In fact THE bridge, as their is obviously only one in each town (apart from Paris). The reason is simple: the bridge is part of the main street and all the shops are there. This spot was very popular with dog owners. As usual, they did not bother about the droppings, left behind by their pets. One has to consider very carefully where to put a foot. Careless walking can be disastrous in France!
Joigny is a most picturesque little town. After a great fire in 1530 several half-timbered houses were built, decorated with carved wood. This one is a fine example.
Just another fine little street in Joigny. We absolutely enjoyed walking the town. And visiting a 'salon de thé', naturellement!
The main street has, as already stated, a lot of shops. In France not all of them are ousted by the big supermarkets, thank God! Speaking of the good lord, we saw this window in Joigny's main street. A relic of the past - but not in pious France! The shop was about embroidery, and of course a chasuble should not be lacking.
April 7th, 2013. This time the leg from Joigny to our destination, Migennes. Three locks, only 2 hours 35 minutes. We left l'Yonne and ascended 5,2 meters into the Canal de Bourgogne by using the lock that is visible in this picture. Not the deepest though, we negotiated one of over 13 meters in the north of France. After over half a year having lived on several rivers we are now on a canal again - which is a bit less treacherous.
This is the basin we are moored in since early afternoon today, Sunday. The lock on the picture before this one is situated left from the middle in the background. It is a 'Le Boat'-base here, too. We know this company very well from the Thames. (Why not Le Bateau or The Boat?) On the outer left side in the background is a dry dock situated. Our boat will go into this dry dock tomorrow for five days to do some jobs on her - re-blacking the bottom among them. We'll have two engineers from the UK on board. It will be a genuine mess! More about this nerve wrecking venture next week.