Meaux: Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux

A striking display inside the museum

A striking display inside the museum

During our stop in Meaux we took the bikes out to visit Musée de la Grande Guerre du Pays de Meaux on the outskirts of the commune. During the First Battle of the Marne in September 1914, the German troops were stopped at the gates of Meaux. It was as close as they came to Paris. The history of the battle and war is explained in the expansive museum. It is worth a visit it you are in the area. Continue reading

Meaux, le Fromage

Brie de Meaux

Brie de Meaux

Wanderlust returned to Meaux on the 29th of September 2015. Meaux is close to Paris; the City of Light is a half hour by train away. More importantly for us, Meaux was just above the last of the scheduled lock closures on our Marne route. With long days and determined cruising we had made it to Meaux with a few days to spare. We now had the luxury of staying four nights and resting in a commune that we knew well from our stop a year earlier. Continue reading

Chalons-en-Champagne to Damery

An iconic tree-lined road in France

An iconic tree-lined road in France leaves Damery.

On the 27th of September 2015 Wanderlust left Chalons-en-Champagne and headed west. The day began on the canal latéral à la Marne and by the evening Wanderlust reached the River Marne proper. At 5:30 in the evening we moved Wanderlust to the riverside halte nautique in Damery and stopped for the night. 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

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