Saturday
Apr062013

THE GLEANERS -LES GLANEUSES

Some of our best slow travel takes place early in the morning in the fall as the light is clear and sharp and often there is a haze of mist rising off the water.  As we glide along, we frequently see gleaners harvesting nuts by the side of the canal.  They seem like ethereal figures from the past, surrounded by the mist.  “Gleaning”, or the right to harvest left over fruit, vegetables, nuts and grains from the summer harvest is an ancient French tradition, embodied in Napoleonic laws, that is alive and well in the small rural villages along the less travelled canals. 

Wednesday
Apr032013

FLIGHT OF THE SOUL - LYON

The Musee des Beaux Arts in Lyon has a superior collection which rivals the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. This painting “Flight of the Soul” is from 1860 by Anne-Francois-Louis Janmot who painted a range of beautiful and ethereal works as a resident of Lyon.

Friday
Mar292013

FAST FRIENDS

Teddy, our toy poodle but real dog, and his new friend Leisha, on the bow of Nooit Volmaakt.  Our good friends in the port already had a dog, Benji, when they came across Leisha at the Dog Rescue Centre in Roanne.  So now they live on a big barge in the port with two dog companions.  Teddy and I love to go for walks with them all along the banks of the Loire River. 

Friday
Mar292013

LA LAVERIE ANCIENNE

After walking about ten minutes from our moorage place in Tonnerre on the Burgundy Canal, we came across this old wash house.  We've stumbled across many of these old structures where women would gather to wash their family's linen on rough flagstones and catching up on local gossip.  A French friend showed us a similar wash house in Sens, and he remembered his mother using it to do her washing up until the 1950's.  

Friday
Mar292013

ORANGERIE - CHATEAU DIGOINE

This orangerie, or greenhouse, belongs to Chateau Digoine within walking distance of the Canal du Centre.  These heated structures were designed to provide plentiful fresh fruit and produce for the Chateau's kitchens.Beyond the riot of colour created by these incredibly groomed flower beds, are hectares of lush green pastures separated by old-fashioned hedgerows and home to peacefully grazing Charolais cattle.