Thursday, August 2, 2007

Canal de Bourgogne

After our trip to Dole, we came back to St. Jean de Losne to restock and ready ourselves and the ship for a trip up the Canal de Bourgogne to Dijon. This canal is very straight and quite pretty until it becomes somewhat industrial just outside of Dijon. The trip is 30km and 21 locks, and takes us about a day and a half to travel. On the way to Dijon, all the locks go up; although it is a bit more difficult to snag the bollard with the rope when it is several meters above my head, the up locks are my favorite. Every time it is like entering a whole new world because you just never know what you are going to see when you get to the top. (photos 2 & 3 are going up in the lock, and at the top.)

Some of the lock houses are absolutely charming; some of the lock keepers sell things such as honey, ice cream, wine, rabbits. This one has little wooden statues of seafarers, sea gulls and other nautical bric-a-brac on the window sills. Most of the lock houses are occupied but some are abandoned.

Traveling on the canal, we pass fields and fields of cows, wheat, potatoes, and the wonderful massive fields of sunflowers.

Both on our way to, and our way back, from Dijon we tied up near the little village of Longecourt. There is an amazing chateau there that was built as a fortress in the 12th century and turned into a manor house in the 17th century. It is incredibly beautiful and romantic with a moat and fields surrounding it.

Tying the ship (we were informed that a vessel of this size cannot, must not, be referred to as simply a boat, that the Shenandoah is a ship) up alongside the canal for the night is a very peaceful and comfortable place to be.