Sunday, June 1, 2014

hours since our last meal

LOL- only kidding- having gotten through our first lock (55) we continue down the canal and see various light industrial buildings on the outskirts of Dijon, as well as many trains that head to the nearby station and even a bit of air traffic from the air base near the canal.

I googled the distance of the first day's journey and google told me that it was a 23 minute drive from Dijon to Longecourt (the evening docking destination) LOL

sorry for the glare I took a photo of the computer screen- but maybe this gives you the idea of the pace- we spent one full day on a 23 minute journey- LOL

and here is how we whiled away the hours- first we went through and out of industrial Dijon-

even when there are no locks - at certain points the canal gets narrow - about the width of the boat- and the tolerances are very close (see later photo)

we pass under RR tracks and see the trains go by- some of them TGV (train gran vitesse- high speed)

the lock keeper's no longer live right at the locks but use the access path and motor scooters to shuttle between them - here one awaits our arrival-

this is lock number 56 (our second)- but don't worry I won't show you every one of them- - - each is nicely marked - some have nice yards and some have been abandoned and are graffiti covered - but every one is identified and numbered so you know where you are-

this old bridge spanned the canal and when we passed under it you could see the age - it is built on brick arches rather than steel girders-

the next lock cottage had an unusual fence arrangement - covered in shells from executed garden snails?

there were two types of gate opening devices- this style was much easier on the lock keepers - they would lean against it with their back and back the lever around using the weight of their bodies-

this type was more back breaking as it entailed rotating the wheel by hand and some bending over-

as I mentioned the tolerance is very very very close- here a shot of the wall of the canal and the side of the barge- if the pilot isn't heading in 100% straight there is a lot of touch up painting to do when the trip ends!

almost out of town-

finally looking less urban and more country-

CB taking cell phone photos of me taking photos of him- LOL

they look like they are having a good time!

our buddies await - you can see one of the scooters on the left side of the photo parked on the tow path-

poppies along the way-

and more flowers to brighten our day-

a sign we frequently saw at points along the tow path when there was a route into a town or village -

water below the lock swirling out as it is emptied to bring the boat to the level below-

at each lock bikes and people get on and off - all have instructions that lunch is at Lock 61 or 62 so to be back on board by then-

below the pilot (on the left) talks shop with the lock keepers-

as we get closer to lunch the scenery turns more lovely-

CBGB waiting for their ship to come in- LOL

the mistletoe in the trees is quite striking- they look like nests of some sort but are simply a parasite like Spanish moss is to our live oaks in Florida...

our first traffic- LOL

we start our lunch time drinking a bit earlier than lunch- but we aren't driving - or cooking and have no schedules to meet...

and lock 61 arrives - the signal for feeding time- LOL

Marie gets off and cuts some fresh rhubarb and waves as she passes us on the way back to the kitchen-

Cyrille introduces lunch- each day will follow the same pattern- we will have three outstanding salads, a quiche and a protein main - today it is ribs.  Then we will have a cheese lesson from Marie or Teresa and there will be at least two wines for the mid day meal-

my plate of yummy lunch! the ribs were heavenly and I loved every salad Cyrille made this week - even the carrot one (which is not usually among my favorites)

then we had the cheese course - which must have been so fab I forgot to take a photo- this was some fruit to accompany the cheese!

here are the cheese from Monday lunch- one of our favorites from the last trip- the Abbey de Citeaux (Just try finding that in the US!)  and on e of my favorite blues the Fourme d'Ambert - all excellent! -

so now you get an idea of how the mornings will generally go - so from this point, not so many lock mechanics photos... in the afternoons we usually had an activity and on this day we go to visit the home of the Chevaliers du Tastevin and the winery of Pierre Amiot... so stay tuned for the second part of Monday's touring!

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