We’re on the Champagne et Bourgogne Canal. At the first lock Rob gets off Sojourn and phones the eclusier, and voila! Out of the box pops a remote control to open the canals. The idea is to click the button some hundred metres from the lock, which then automatically fills or empties the lock for us, depending on if we are climbing or descending. And like magic, the gates open.
This canal is used by commercial boats, still carrying cargo up and down the canal – we are pretty nervous about meeting one of these 39 metre chaps on a bend, luckily we meet on the straight, and its still a squeeze to get past.
Safely through. Looking back, its easy to remember that France was almost complete forest, and its only in the last agricultural period that much land has been cleared.
We moor up at Langres – well, at the bottom of Langres. Pretty mooring, but a steep 2.8 km climb with our bikes (to enjoy the downward run) to the village. Langres was a medieval fortified city, the ramparts surrounding the city used by its citizens to stroll around and enjoy magnificent views. We walk around the ramparts, some parts built 2000 years ago, others more recent – now happily giving wonderful views undisturbed by foe.