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Aujourd'hui nous sommes le mardi 10 décembre 2019. C'est la fête de Saint Romaric


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Down the Seine to Paris

Navigating with John & Cushla

Yesterday was ‘over board’ day.

First our good friends and neighbours in the port of Joigny dropped a bike overboard.  But he has done this before so is now well equipped and carries an under water camera on board.   After a bit of searching the river bottom which is surprisingly clean and not so murky in these parts - we spotted it !  

However, it took an anchor on a rope to snag the bike and full extension of the boat pole plus an arm to reach far enough down to retrieve it.   Nice clean bike now though!

Not long after that when John had been doing a spot of deck cleaning, he literally 'threw the baby out with the bath water' when emptying the bucket - He tossed the bucket of dirty water plus brushes into the drink!  

So many laughs on these canals!

Then we couldn’t remember one of our bike chain codes.  It was a new code changed by someone staying because they couldn’t remember ours - they told us the new code… but we forgot!!!   It was funny to see John on the shore hack-sawing through the lock and people watching on very suspiciously!!!   Anyway we have two new chains now and our original lock code LOL again !!!

In Sens, we watched an Aussie guy and his wife living their 10 year dream to be here with their 3 boys (ages between 11 and 16) on a boat similar to our original Tui  which they had just bought a sixth share of.   It was a work in progress!   The man had set his middle son to paint some wood stain on the boxing he had just built around the top deck.  The kid was lavishly splashing stain on the windows below and the white paintwork.  Their boat will have more character lines and original art work than most!   They are having so much fun - then they all jump overboard for frequent swims!

We had our first day on the Seine into Paris today.  We were following a large barge (only 100m long)  loaded with gravel/sand. We still had room to tuck in behind him in the locks. :-)

It got a bit tricky when an enormous barge made a u turn from his loading bay right in front of us - the working boats always have right of way and it appears they just ’take it’ !

Exciting and very different sailing.  The next lock had the lock gate rise up on a rotating drum from the depths to seal the entrance, (rather than the hinging doors we are used to). 

There is limited mooring for boats our size heading downstream into Paris, but we found a spot to take us in Melun and have stopped for two days.

Knowing we are close by the famous Chateau de Fountainbleau, we took the opportunity to visit that plus another notable Chateau, de Vaux-Le-Vicomte and it’s extraordinary history of how the King and jealous Courtiers plotted against the loyal subject, Nicolas Fouquet, who found the old chateau and had the vision to plan and successfully build it up into a masterpiece.  Fouquet then held a royal banquet in the Kings honour at which he offered the Chateau to him as a gift but apparently it was too late in the plot and the King went on to strip him of all his titles, dis-inherit him, and then throw him in a remote solitary prison until he died.   This just 3 weeks after accepting the hospitality of the unfortunate man! 

Both Chateaus, Absolutely AMAZING!  And I thought Blenheim Palace in UK was the best I’d seen.  That’s almost ordinary compared to the opulence and wealth in these two, and it’s said the Chateau Versailles in  Paris has been copied on Vaux-Le-Vicomte and outshines them all.  No wonder there was a French Revolution!!!    I wonder if we can manage an invitation to the Versailles  Inner Sanctum?   If Trump can be invited to Buck Palace…..?

I think we came in the back door to Paris when comparing our sail into Lyon several years ago.  The Seine was lined with silos, and factories all along the river and many working barges in action.  To sail into Lyon is so picturesque and with absolutely the best view of all the magnificent buildings either side.

However, we have arrived.  We are in Paris, moored up in L’ Arsenal just under the Bastile! Yahoo! 

Day two in Paris and we are somewhat out of our comfort zone in getting around!  We are so used to the quiet little villages along the canals and rivers.  This place is huge, busy, noisy and easy to get lost in.  I have this new App called 'City mapper' which covers all large cities world wide.  When I put in an address to go to it comes up with the route on a map, and options of walking, car, taxi, Metro, bus etc.  If we choose walking it will tell us the expected time and how many calories we will use or the equivalent number of frogs legs!  LOL  

Close to where we are parked, in the street we walk down to the Boulangerie, is the Paris Scientology’s Centre!   I wonder if we will see Tom Cruise pop out sometime???

We are parked right next to a sister ship.  The identical design but with very different makeovers.  Next door has developed a type of Glamping tent on the upper deck. It is completely canvassed over and supposedly water proof.  He therefore has two story accommodation.   They are coming for drinks on Saturday night so we might learn more.  We are still absolutely content with our model though - ground floor accommodation/living space and the entire upstairs open terrace for sunbathing, entertaining and  driving station.  

There are many more unusual boats to see as we wonder along the pier.  Artificial grass seems to be the fashion for the decks of some boats, but there is one with a living ground cover growing the length of its roof !!! 

Another has a mermaid statue reclining on the deck!

We have Kate joining us on Friday, and on Sunday a Frenchman we met two years ago is coming to meet us and have lunch on board.  It’s becoming quite social again so more good stories should present themselves.

 

 

 

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