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


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Paris to Champagne

Navigating with John & Cushla

We spent 15 glorious days and nights in Paris at Port de L’Arsenal.  Once we mastered the metro system, the days were cram-packed with things to do.  Kate  joined us for several fabulous "how to look after your parents in Paris” days!   Hilarious fun to be with.   

A visit to Versailles with Kate eclipsed even Fontainbleu.  Even more opulence and no wonder the aristocracy got their heads chopped off when the peasantry were starving and living in hovels..   Interesting that once the King had been deposed, Napoleon - the product of the revolution - occupied the Royal Palace as Emperor.  200 years later the same thing is still happening in some places throughout the world.

Photo: Versailles Hall of Famous battles

A Fontainbleu statue - find me a bra that fits!

 We witnessed the yellow jackets, demonstrating against ‘everything' underneath the Bastille monument.  
There were almost more gendarmes present than the yellow jackets, who seem to be dwindling in numbers.

We finally caved in and bought e-bikes!  
It took a train trip out into the suburbs where there were some great folding bikes on demonstration.  We found exactly what we wanted (or what John had researched so thoroughly) so we bought them on the spot and came home in an Uber because we, (no make that, I), was too scared to ride in the Paris traffic.  
We were delivered safely back to our boat and just in time for evening guests on board!!!  (More kiwi visitors). 

Some Paris sights, this seen at a Flea Market - A Cow Sofa!

We waited until we had departed Paris to find some quiet trails to have our first ride on our new bikes.  First attempt showed my back tyre was completely flat so we had to wait until we were at Meaux before we could get it fixed and try them out.  Success!  and a wonderful bike repair serviceman added to our list of contacts.

 

One of our neighbours in Paris was a semi retired pilot who chose to buy a boat in the port and live on it rather than rent one of the tiny appartments in the city.  He regularly gets called out to fly somewhere exotic to bring home planes for some reason or another. (Being an older pilot he knows most of the planes and is trusted with them).   Very interesting to talk to.  Another neighbour was a fashion photographer living on board and working in Paris.   

Our absolute highlight of Paris was a trip with Tony & Sue Crang (fellow NZ’ers) on their boat down the Seine past all the magnificent buildings and bridges on a Sunday evening for a champagne dinner on board parked up near the Eiffel Tower. Nine of us on board, (all kiwis), for the party. Along the way were different platforms where people were gathered to dance the various disciplines - everything from rock’n’roll to waltz.  Others were just gathered for a picnic or a drink on the river side.  No problem with drinking in public here!

Along the Seine

This is the original - The American’s have the copy! 

Nina and George’s granddaughter Izzy, and her boyfriend Tori, joined us for a days sailing just after we left Paris and just before we were expecting Reta and Grant on board.   What a run around they were given at the train station!  They were redirected to several different queues, told there was ‘no such stop’ etc. etc. which meant they kept missing the hourly train departures from 7.45am onwards - finally catching the 10.51am train - Whew!  It’s French!    We had the same treatment days earlier and that was after purchasing our tickets in the system then someone who didn’t care or know telling us it wasn’t operating!  It was of course!!!  It’s French and what we have learned to laugh about!!!

Reta and Grant found their way to us at the port of La Fert-sous-Jourarre where we said goodbye to Izzy and Tori.  

We spent a fun filled week with them with too much good food (thanks to Reta’s cooking), too much champagne (thanks to being in the champagne area - especially Epernay) and just the right amount of funny stories all round. ;-)  What happens on board, stays on board!

On arrival in Epernay, the only other boat there was ‘Suzette', owned by Sue and Allan from Devonport, NZ.  An impromptu lunch time reunion ensued - with champagne of course!   We rafted up and refuelled both our boats with a delivery tanker to port-side service, then they left for Belgium.Reta, Grant and I first visited the Tourist info. centre in Epernay and ended up wine tasting there with an alluring young lady who convinced us to visit a smaller more rural family champagne house rather than the big popular ones with multiple tourist buses parked in the courtyard.  It was a taxi ride to the next town (Damery) but the result was perfect.  We tasted no less than 5 champagnes with tasting glasses full to the brim and as a consequence we over purchased.  'Waitui' has a lean on one side because of the wine/champagne storage.  We are working on correcting this!  

 

Reta and I in a happy place - The Champagne cellar!

We were sad to say goodbye to Reta and Grant just before the Epernay Champagne Fete started, so they missed it - but it turned out to be a fizzer anyway.  We hope the 2019 champagne vintage isn’t the same! 

We are now in Chalons-en-Champagne and expecting Bastile day celebrations and fireworks on Saturday night.  We have visited before.  It is such a lovely and friendly town.  The white elephant in the Lake we remember from previous years is now accompanied by a white hippopotamus - which glow pink and red at night!   This morning the Hippo had a puncture so was sprawled flat on his wooden platform but within a couple of hours was upstanding again.  The gardens and surrounding parklands are very well attended and looked after here.  I’m sure both hippo and elephant will have to be removed before the fireworks though to avoid any further punctures via sparks! 

Chalons-en-Champagne Park and Lake with white Hippo

A homeless old  man has just camped for the night on the bank opposite our boat.  I asked John who that was and quick as a wink he said it was “the bank manager”!   Anyway, we felt sorry for him and John took him some dinner.

We have just had our house batteries replaced.  Quite an expense but worth it - our old batteries have been in place for 9years and the expected lifetime is only 5 years!!!  So well done Waitui !

The serviceman bought his young daughter with him so she ended up on deck colouring in with one of Mimi Savill’s colouring books left behind from their family visit two years ago.

To Mulhouse

Cushla and John

Besancon - Isle sur le Doubs

From Cushla and John

Chalon sur Saone: le 14 juillet

From Cushla and John

Crocodiles, gendarmes and rain

From Cushla and John

Down to Louhans

From Cushla and John

Paris CDG to Saint Jean de Losne

From Cushla and John

Canal Boating in France

From Cushla & John

Visit the House of Dior

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Opinion: Alan Duff

Park & Suites and Appart’city

Great places to stay in France

Dans un appartement à Paris

From Morag & Richard

Holiday in the heat

Carole & Gladys

Découvrir La Gironde

Discovering the Gironde Region

Walking in France

From Warwick

201 pays - sans utiliser l'avion!

201 countries without using a plane!

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