Last few days on the Canal du Centre

Barging is a lifestyle. We mostly barge until lunchtime, and then explore a village or Ville, (have a meal, or a drink)  shop, (which is still fun to do, investigating French foods) or go for a walk or cycle. From Santenay we rode to a medieval village that we had ridden to last year. Through vineyards that have a proud AOC appellation.  Workers in the vineyards adhere to strictly contolled methods of planting and caring for the vines.

Vineyards along the way to Nolay

We often take breakfast in a bottle and have this along the way. Robs favorite breakfast.

Breakfast stop

Nolan is charming, it nestles between limestone cliffs and vines. Medieval winding narrow streets hint at days gone by –

Winding street in Nolay

It’s granary built in 14C from chestnut. Remarkable roof built from local limestone, chestnut beams holding 800kgs/m2

600 year old Granary where brisk marketing deals took place hundreds of years ago

We sit opposite the granary imagining people brisk trading of wool and grain under this roof. Our bar is also a Bistrot and medieval home
Medieval bar, Rob enjoying a biere pression
It’s raining. I watch a French woman walk quickly – old meets modern. She’s walking in high heels carrying “baguettes” just baked from the Boulangerie in front of a house built 600 years ago. Old and new seamlessly merge.

We decide to ride on to a waterfall which we haven’t visited before.

Cycle ride, the rain abated

But it starts to rain, so we take shelter in the arch of a village house.

Taking refuge in the rain – under an arch about 800 mm thick

The waterfall is beautiful, falling from ancient limestone cliffs.  Great reward!

Waterfall in the French country
Waterfall in the French country
Chagny market, irresistible displays of food, much home prepared
Chagny market, irresistible displays of food, much home prepared

We stop for a night at Chagny (astonishing market where they sell live chickens of different kinds, other birds,fluffy rabbits 😢 and of course, varieties of delicious home made goodies- olives, artichoke, confiture (jams) …)

On to Fragnes, our last mooring before dropping into the Saone river. From Fragnes we ride to Chalon sur Saone and visit the amazing Photgraphic museum. Nicephore Niepce was the inventor of capturing an image, the father of photography. And the museum is dedicated to this man. It was France who announced to the world in 1839 that this technique had been invented. The museum depicts through old equipment and a range of cameras the development of photography…. what a gift!

An old camera

A mother and her babies scurry out of our way as we approach the lock.We drop 10.5 meters in the lock from the Canal into the river. We did this last year, but it’s still a novel experience and remarkable engineering, also built around the same time as photography was developing.

Lock at Chalon-sur-Saone joining the canal into the river

We moor up on the river before a lock, and leave early the next morning… glorious.

Our first morning early on the river, sunlight just breaking (7 a.m.)
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