Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Catching Up

It's been a long time readers! What a delay in my blog posting; seven months is indecent. Now the reasons;

a broken wrist before departing France last spring
a busy summer at home in Canada
concentration on physiotherapy on a wrist that healed but a hand that did not and has not fully
returning to France and low water conditions on our return route to Paris
a 1500 km detour with much happening along the way
a dead MacBook Air that has finally been returned to me in working condition this week
John making 2 trips to Budapest to complete his dental work
Organizing for hopefully our last court date in Netherlands Dec 6
Planning around the huge general strike called for Dec 5 until ?
Arranging to go home for over a month and finding a trustworthy care giver for Oscar and the boat.

There are my excuses. So this blog will be as few words as possible and instead is a series of pictures depicting our last 2 months and 12 days. Arriving at the boat September 18 from Frankfurt Germany  until today December 3, 2019.
We are looking forward to Christmas this year at home, first in Toronto with family and friends, then to Delaware for Christmas and New Year with Michelle, Tyler and Ollie. We will stay until mid-January to give them some Ollie care help, then on to Ottawa to see Margie & Dick. We will be spending a few days at our beloved Skootamatta to enjoy home and maybe some cross country skiing, and finally back to Paris January 20.

So here are the pictures, but not all the stories. We will be happy to share some of them over a glass of wine some day

Early morning Departure September 17, Lake Skootamatta

Oscar Re-discovering The Boat

Beautiful Metz on the Mosel

Fountains Were Beneficial this Long Hot Summer in France

Still Dog Days

Cool Spray

Rowers at the Club Where Thierry & Corrine Took Care of Forty Roses III

A Reader

Traveling Down the Mosel toward Koblenz

Lush Vineyards

Well Groomed and Steep

Our Route from Metz to Koblenz

Soft Autumn Colours

We have Enjoyed This River

Every Bend Another Great View Lies Ahead

Many Little Hotels

Larger Hotel and Stunning Restaurant

Best Schnitzel ever with a lovely German trocken riesling

Note the steep vineyards

Signs Delineate the Grower/Producer

So Many Picturesque Buildings

Red Geraniums Along the Wall

Many Rowers & Rowing Clubs on the Mosel

Strange Building

The workers and grapes are pulled up these incredibly steep slopes in baskets and when the work is done grapes and workers are lowered in the same way. See the track on the left

Now on the Rhin. What a trip! As we are over 15m we must have a licensed Rhin captain for this section. Our good friend Ramone's cousin holds such papers so he and his wife joined us in Koblenz for the trip along the German section to the Dutch border, about 350km of extremely busy river traffic. Above is the magnificent cathedral of Köln.

Jerome & John consult the chart route

Jerome's wife at the wheel

Poured Rain the Entire 350 km Trip

Constant Barge Traffic. Many 300 metres long and some as wide as 30metres. We were thankful for the experienced Captain. Blue boarding is prolific because of the current so alert watch is necessary!

The Happy Crew after arriving in Cuijk, Netherlands


Jerome Introduced us to Clever's Ice Cream, Gelato & Frozen Yoghurt. . What a Treat!

Iconic Netherlands. 

Rain Has Stopped after first night on the Maas

Oscar Meets Ramone's Lapdog!

Tree Loaded with ripe Quince

OK Say It

Walking the Dike

Magnificent  Wall of Berries

Forty Roses III in the Background at Maasbommel

Hortensia the size of Dinner Plates

In a Window

Celebrating the 75th year of the Allies..Canadians. .  returning Netherlands to Dutch hands. 

Oscar No Longer a Kitten

A Local Beer . . .last bottle

Large Sluis

Joke & Hans with us from Maasbommel to Maastricht

Sculptures such as this are everywhere in Maastricht

Basiliek van Onze Lieve Vrouw Sterre der Zee

Patron of the Market and the Carnival

Entering Belgium on the Meuse accompanied by Pelting Rain. Near Liège October 8

Dutch Style carries over into Belgium

Early October Colour

Stunning Sculpture  called Searching for Utopia

Atop the Citadel in Namur October 10

Beautiful City of Namur, Wallonia, Belgium

Roman Bridge

Rested Here Several Days to Enjoy the Surroundings

Our Excellent Tie Up

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Annevoie Castle Gardens

Great Day for a Fall Hike

Portions of the Citadel  High Above

Water View

When Do We Reach Paris?

Portion of Our Route Through Belgium. The municipality of Charleroi straddles both banks of the river Sambre

No Problems with Low Water Here

Oscar Enjoys a Snooze

The Strépy-Thieu boat lift (French: L'ascenseur funiculaire de Strépy-Thieu) lies on a branch of the Canal du Centre in the municipality of Le Rœulx, Hainaut, Belgium. With a height difference of 73.15 metres (240.0 ft) between the upstream and downstream reaches, it was the tallest boat lift in the world upon its completion, and remained so until the Three Gorges Dam ship lift in China was completed in January 2016.

We are the only Boat Going Down

Look This Lift Up ;  it is Spectacular Engineering

Coming Out at the Bottom. We came Down 10 Stories

Oscar Entering Home Territory: France, near Denain on the L'Escaut

Canal du Nord October 17; one month from our Canadian Departure

La Somme near Péronne  is a commune of the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.

It is close to where the 1916, first 1918 and second 1918 Battles of the Somme took place during the First World War.

Chestnuts Galore

Old Walls of Pèrrone

Cat At Large

Now Parkland

Another Excellent Tie Up  in Pérrone where we stayed several days

Along the Tow Path: These Jolly Dutch Fellows are heading to Marseille at the Invitation of France for a Festival of Antique Boats. No Rush They Say; Life is a Picnic

A Great Story: Man from Italy buys Boat in Netherlands to Take Home to Pisa. Many Adventures Follow

Selfie with our new  friend & Neighbour Graziano

Boat, as I write, is still not in Pisa. We encourage Graziano to write a book. He has lots of material!

Flowers of Compiégne

Their Mairie Gardens are Always Colourful

October 26

Colours Soft But Lovely

Tie up on the L'Oise at L'Isle Adam

Chateau Conti: First Built in 825 and Rebuilt many times

Rich Autumn Colour

Gentle offshoot of L'Oise river


Lace Curtains

Magnificent Houses as this has always been a Retreat from Paris

From the Bridge

Interesting Park Sculpture  October 29

Tucked into Our Paris L'Hivernage November 1

Sharing the Notre Dame Restoration Progress

Looking Glass of Marie Antoinette

Always A Gallery With Something Interesting. This one Feather Art


Oscar Eying the Fromage

The Père Lachaise cemetery takes its name from King Louis XIV's confessor, Father François d'Aix de La Chaise. It is the most prestigious and most visited necropolis in Paris. Situated in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, it extends 44 hectares and contains 70,000 burial plots.

On the green paths, visitors cross the burial places of famous men and women; Honoré de Balzac, Guillaume Apollinaire, Frédéric Chopin, Colette, Jean-François Champollion, Jean de La Fontaine, Molière, Yves Montand, Simone Signoret, Jim Morrison, Alfred de Musset, Edith Piaf, Camille Pissarro and Oscar Wilde are just a few.

A Bite Of Pear

Autobianchi Bianchina Cabriolet-1960

Our Neighbour Built This

Always Great Street Art if One Looks

Work Continues At the Bastille. Massive Crane

So Merry Christmas & a Very Happy New Year as we are off to Canada on the 17th and will return to Paris January 20, 2020

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