The Yonne: Sens to Migennes

The Gate of Sens in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne:  On the opposite end of the village is the very similar Gate of Joigny.

The Gate of Sens in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne: On the opposite end of the village is the very similar Gate of Joigny.

Still weakened from a stomach bug it was tempting to linger and gain strength in Sens. Sens is a fascinating town; the mooring spot is pleasant. There were all the reasons in the world to stay, but we couldn’t. The following day the next lock on our way to Auxerre, Ecluse St. Bond, would close. If we didn’t make it through St. Bond we’d have to wait for months for the lock and weir repairs to be completed. We had no choice. We had to move upstream. Continue reading

The Yonne: Montereau-Fault-Yonne to Sens

Wanderlust inside one of the slope-sided locks on the River Yonne

Wanderlust inside one of the slope-sided locks on the River Yonne

By the time we reached the River Yonne, we were moving deliberately. True, the old towns along the Yonne, the last river of our journey to Auxerre, are particularly interesting. But beyond the appeal of the history of the region there was another reason for moving slow. Somewhere past Montereau I developed a nasty case of food poisoning, possibly self-inflicted. It took three days before I could eat again and a couple of weeks to feel “normal”. Consequently, for the first few days on the Yonne, I mostly just the saw the inside of the boat. At least Gigi and Becky could explore the area. Continue reading

The Seine to the Yonne: Melun to Montereau-Fault-Yonne

Wanderlust moored in Saint-Mammès

Wanderlust moored in Saint-Mammès

By river it is 43 km and three locks from Melun to Montereau-Fault-Yonne. It is an easy one-day cruise that at our usual pace took two days to do. In between we had our final overnight stop on the Seine in Saint-Mammès, a popular stopover for the commercial barges. Continue reading

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