Verdun

The forts that surrounded Verdun took a heavy pounding during WWI.

The forts that surrounded Verdun took a heavy pounding during WWI.

At the end of July Wanderlust spent 13 nights in Toul. The stop, the longest of the season, was largely dictated by the arrival logistics of our next set of guests. With the extended stay we had the opportunity to do much needed maintenance. We also were able to visit sights near Toul by car. Continue reading

Toul

A sunflower in France

A sunflower in France

Each year after the coverage of the Tour de France ends I start missing my daily dose of the scenes from the French countryside. I’ve always watched the Tour in part for the race and in part for the aerial travelogue. Drama in a bike race occurs only periodically. The scenery fills in the dead spots. Continue reading

Pont-canal de Troussey

Pont-canals, aqueducts that carry boats, are not uncommon on the French waterways. One such pont-canal can be found in Troussey. The Troussey aqueduct was constructed to carry the Canal de la Marne au Rhin over the River Meuse. Built relatively … Continue reading

Mauvages Tunnel

DSC_6282_HDR-Edit-EditSummit pounds on French canals often have tunnels. There’s a good reason for this; it is easier to dig a long tunnel than to bring water to the top of a ridge. In the case of the Marne-Rhine Canal, the nearly five kilometer long Tunnel de Mauvages links the two ends of the waterway’s highest pound. Even with the tunnel, water supply is a challenge; water must be pumped up to the canal’s summit. Continue reading

Demange-aux-Eaux

Smooth waters

Smooth waters

On the 20th of July 2015 Wanderlust reached the verge of the first of the two summit pounds of the Canal de la Marne au Rhin. The approach to the top of the waterway was slow. Wanderlust was trailing the commercial barge Anti-Lope as it moved slowly carrying a load of barley to the Königsbacher brewery in Koblenz. Continue reading

Bar-le-Duc

Moored for the night in Bignicourt-sur-Saulx.

Moored for the night in Bignicourt-sur-Saulx.

After our next guest Ross arrived in Châlons-en-Champagne we headed east. Initially Wanderlust retraced her route on the Canal latéral à la Marne. Once we reached Vitry-le-François we moved onto the Canal de la Marne au Rhin for the first time. Continue reading

Châlons-en-Champagne

Wanderlust takes on water in a lock among the vineyards in Champagne.

Wanderlust takes on water in a lock among the vineyards in Champagne.

 

Wanderlust passed through Châlons-en-Champagne three times in 2015. With two overnight stops at Châlons’ well-situated port de plaisance we had a chance to appreciate what the commune has to offer. Continue reading

Ay

Canal latéral à la Marne

Canal latéral à la Marne

At the three-way canal intersection in Vitry-le-François our planned route continued to the east. If we took the right fork in Vitry Wanderlust would move onto the Canal de la Marne au Rhin. The Marne-Rhine would ultimately lead us to our destination Strasbourg. But as we emerged from the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne we did not go right. Instead, we moved Wanderlust left onto the Canal latéral à la Marne. For now we’d head to Ay in the heart of Champagne’s viticultural region. Continue reading

Vitry-le-François

Generally the locks are signed as no swimming but the lock keepers turn a blind eye on really hot days.

Generally the locks are signed as no swimming but the lock keepers turn a blind eye on really hot days.

Vitry-le-François sits on the junction of three canals, the entre Champagne et Bourgogne, and the Marne-Rhine, and the latéral à la Marne. Communes at the intersection of waterways are natural locations to support the waterway life. They are the truck stops of the waterways. Continue reading

Orconte

Moored near us when we stopped in Orconte was an adventurer Bruno.  Bruno Sananès was in the midst of a long journey across France from Dunkirk to Bordeaux in a four-meter long boat. Bruno successfully completed his voyage across France … Continue reading