After our adventures in Paris, we met up with my Mum and Dad and headed south on the train from Paris to the Loire Valley. There, we hired a canal boat and zipped (well, slowly puttered) north from Nevers to Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses along the Loire canals. I bought the captain’s hat for Dad for his birthday and it became compulsory wearing for all boat driving. Please note that I drove for a maximum of 10 minutes. It freaked me out. Luckily Captain Rodney was happy to be at the helm.
This isn’t exactly the way we went, as this shows the road, but you get the gist. We saw some of the most beautiful little towns on our way, we were usually lucky enough to be able to moor our little boat somewhere lovely, except for the time we accidentally moored right near a sewage treatment plant and a nuclear energy facility … but to be honest it was still beautiful and we didn’t notice until morning.
The flower boxes were in full bloom and made everything look gorgeous. If you look closely in the top right of this photo you can see my Mum and Dad walking together holding hands. Aww.
As well as lovely French towns, we saw lots of ducks on our travels …
… and ate lots of this delicious dessert the French delightfully translated into English as chocolate brown softness. Indeed, Frenchies, indeed.
We all soon found our positions on the boat, with the intention of not driving each other mad given our seven (very close) days together. You’ll be happy to hear that for the most part we succeed. The copious amounts of wine and cheese certainly helped lull us into good moods.
Capitan Rodney took the wheel, First Mate Joanne sat next to him with the map and camera, while Luke looked cool in the bow. He was number one for lock duties, which involved chucking a rope to a lockman or lockwoman, who then guided us in, shut the gate and changed the water level to help get us upstream. If this makes no sense, read this. Luke was then also responsible for pushing us off, without falling in the canal. Champion. Mum was in charge of giving the lockperson a tip, either a euro or a beer (if Luke hadn’t already drunk them all).
I busied myself with cracking the first wine of the day (at around 11am), setting out the snacks (stinky cheeses) and reading my book. I was obviously a vital part of the crew.
While Mum took excellent records and could be able to tell you the name of this town, what we ate and what she wore (I’m not kidding), my record keeping is a shambles and I have no idea where this was, but it was one of my favourite places. Mum, perhaps pop where this is in the comments!?
The week was glorious, and travelling France by canal is something I would most definitely do again. So long as someone else drives …
Next week, Berlin!