October 2004 Canal de Bourgogne to Saint-Jean-de-Losne

11th October Dijon

Arrived in Dijon to a lovely blue sky... Dijon (pop 147.000) This is an Old medieval industrial town and again a wine trading city, wonderful art centre... wonderful cathedral, I asked to hear the organ, and it instantly played (honest), loads of museums to visit, a great lake with lots of water sports and great shops and restaurants, it was good to be in the city again. We had the best mooring in a great marina, free of charge, because the season had finished, also free electric too, can't be bad, we had a few days in the city before Sharon arrived.

Sharon Tommy John Irene at the London boat show earlier in the year

We had a great time with Sharon and Tommy, catching up on all the news from home, we had some good nights in and off the boat, the weather could have been a bit kinder for their visit. We made the most of museums, churches, and restaurants lots of walking and talking going on, but it would soon be time to see them off back to Liverpool.

The market in Dijon is one of the best in the country I could get every thing I desired here and enjoyed shopping in the food market very much. Pam, David, Carol and Havlock paid us a visit on the Friday... telling us lots of tales and things to expect when we arrive in Saint Jean de Losne, getting excited again about our winter mooring. I think Sharon and Tommy enjoyed meeting them too.

We were on our way again, another part of our adventure.

Love this photo I took of a Heron sat high up in a tree. I bet he can see Saint Jean de Losne are we nearly there?

20th October Saint Jean de Losne

Saint Jean de Losne is an important Port de Plaisance, in view of it's position, as a waterways junction of the River Doubs, River Saone, Canal de Bourgogne, Canal du Centre and the Canal du Rhone au Rhin. This port was built to shelter ships from the storms of the river and to rest in, holds at present around 300 boats. People from all over the world moor here.

189th lock... last one on Canal de Bourgogne, David takes control in his French cap

Saint Jean de Losne our wonderful welcome committee. Our final destination for this year.

here comes Moet-Chandon!

We had wonderful weather for late October, long sunny days, we strolled about the village and enjoyed getting to know our new surrounds for the coming winter months.

Saint Jean de Losne village on the River Saone, end of Canal de Bourgogne

Classes set up on other boats for those who would like to join in, where many and varied. We are called the river rats and Captain Bob runs a well organized marina, he works hard for us all.

VHF radio 9.30 each morning, informing us of the days events, weather, exchange rate... and lots more, it's also security 24 hours a day, any help you need, just ask.

Captain Bob giving us fire drill, should we have a fire! That's me in the mask, waiting my turn.

I started Yoga x 2 a week, card and Xmas decoration making classes, French lessons, Monday walking club. Lots of great cookery lessons on Pam & David's boat which I enjoy very much. Lots of dinner parties on each others boats. I started Monday water colour art classes on our boat, after the five mile walk, so many people wanted a space to explore their creative side. Free concerts were also held in the village.

We had a monthly Soiree Franglais evening, a meeting with local village people, they were coming to learn English and we had to speak to them in French to help our French along (I found that hard since I have very little French). Bike rides, Wednesday afternoon games of boules, not much time left in our weekly calendar for much else. Sundays were kept free of course to do what ever, usually entertain. This was retirement... you could sit back and rest or join in... hence I got no journal done for months, I was too busy joining in all the fun. Meeting new people was high on our agenda, most airline pilots retire to Saint Jean de Losne!!! so many interesting people around to talk with.

John got involved in French lessons, first aid lessons, engine lessons, and men's chat days... he enjoyed long cycle rides too, as well as the boules club and walking club, arranged by Caroline, some really great walks around 5 miles.

I felt like I had come home, having always been a busy person who filled her time with learning, and working. I was in my element here, and all in English too. Down side was not getting to speak much French here.