The Marne to the Seine: Meaux to Melun

Wanderlust moored at Lagny-sur-Marne

Wanderlust moored at Lagny-sur-Marne

Of all the waterways that we’ve experienced since Wanderlust arrived in France in September the Marne was our favorite. From the vineyards of Champagne to the historic towns on the approach to Paris, the river is lined with pleasures. Indeed, it has been so nice on the Marne that we found that we’d become sticky. Each departure from a mooring came with reluctance. But we had to move on. We needed to reach our winter mooring in Burgundy. So all good things must come to an end. And in the case of the River Marne, the end occurs at the confluence with the Seine on the edge of Paris. Continue reading

The Marne: Tunnel de Chalifert

Wanderlust achieves light speed inside the Tunnel de Chalifert.

Wanderlust achieves light speed inside the Tunnel de Chalifert.

Boats traveling the River Marne between Meaux and Lagny-sur-Marne take a short underground passage, the 300 m long Tunnel de Chalifert. This was our fifth tunnel of our journey to Burgundy. The maps showed that there would be one more tunnel ahead. Continue reading

The Marne: Jaulgonne to Meaux

Moorings don't get much better than this spot in Meaux.

Moorings don’t get much better than this spot in Meaux.

Leaving Jaulgonne to the stern we continued downstream towards Paris and the confluence of the Marne and the Seine. The vineyards of Champagne, now mostly depleted of their grapes after the harvest, continued until just past our next stop in Chateau-Thierry. Chateau-Thierry, according to the 2008 census has 14,831 residents. Compared to Jaulgonne, a village of 653 people, it feels like a major metropolitan center. Size is relative. Continue reading

The Marne: Dormans and Jaulgonne

Moored in Dormans:  Silos are a frequent sight along France's waterways.

Leaving Epernay we continued down the canalized River Marne as we headed towards Burgundy. The river took us by the famous vineyards of Champagne and past numerous attractive villages. Production of Champagne is a big business in this region. There … Continue reading

Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne and River Marne: Reims to Épernay

Approaching Ay

Approaching Ay

When we lifted Wanderlust’s ropes and headed up canal, we left the city of Reims behind. Reims is well known as a center of Champagne wine production but we were not leaving the bubbles behind. Indeed, ahead of us, along the banks of River Marne, the vineyards continue and, if anything, the wine houses became more frequent. Continue reading

Life on Board: Freshwater

A watched tank never fills.

A watched tank never fills.

On a day-to-day basis, little is required to cruise through France on Wanderlust. Our fuel tanks are large and our engine is not particularly thirsty. Even when moving frequently we can go for months without needing to buy diesel. Electricity to power our domestic life does not have to come from the shore mains. A second alternator powered by Wanderlust’s main engine produces 110 amps at 24 V while we are cruising.   If the engine is not running, 900 W of solar panels or our 3500 kva diesel powered generator support the bank of domestic batteries (800 ah 24 V). The tanks for our propane fueled oven and cook-top last for months. Aside from food the one thing that we need to take on regularly is freshwater. Continue reading

Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne: Reims

The tomb inside Abbey of Saint-Remi

From our night’s mooring near the Gaudart Ecluse it is 18 km with four locks to the center of Reims. Heading into Reims the scenery alongside the Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne gradually turns from idyllic farmland to suburban … Continue reading

Canal de St-Quentin to the Canal de l’Aisne à la Marne: St.-Quentin to the Outskirts of Reims

Wanderlust tied for the night just past the Gaudart Ecluse

Wanderlust tied for the night just past the Gaudart Ecluse

Between St-Quentin and our next major destination city Reims there are no major cities. The waterways are rural and quiet. The villages are small. Along the way we stopped for nights near three towns, Chauny, Pinon, and Bourg-et-Comin, and also spent a night in the “middle of nowhere” just past the Gaudart Ecluse. Continue reading