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November 26, 2017

France: Ancy-le-Franc


Château d’Ancy-le-Franc’s courtyard

Deep in the Burgundian countryside is the commune of Ancy-le-Franc. Ancy, once in the domain of the Dukes of Burgundy, is anchored by an attractive chateau. Motorists whizzing by on the nearby Autoroute du Soleil might spot a brown tourist sign encouraging passersby to explore the town’s chateau. (more…)

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November 21, 2017

France: Châteauneuf-en-Auxois


The “new” château at Châteauneuf-en-Auxois

is one of at least 33 communes in France with “Châteauneuf” in the name. The Côte-d’Or version features a turreted castle that overlooks the Autoroute du Soleil or A6. We’ve whizzed through the area many times on the freeway and have seen the château with its ferry tale turrets on the hilltop. On the side of the autoroute a brown tourist sign tells passing motorists that the Château de Châteauneuf is nearby. Through the windshield Châteauneuf, up on the hill in the distance, looked interesting. But passing by at 130 kph it never was convenient to visit. It wasn’t until we traveled through the area by canal that we actually had a chance to explore the town. (more…)

March 5, 2016

France: Uckange, U-4

Filed under: Canal boating, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 12:44 am

U-4 in Uckange

U-4 in Uckange

The waterways in France were once the arteries of industry. Over time, economies have shifted and the modes of transportation have changed. Left behind in the wake of modernization is the decaying manufacturing infrastructure of bygone eras. Today factories and plants of once powerful industries sit forgotten, corroding and rotting over time. The story of these rusty factories, their rise and their fall, is a mystery to most passers by. What purpose did these industrial buildings serve? Why was there industry at this particular place? And why have these large complexes been abandoned? (more…)

February 5, 2016

France: Hotel Barges

Filed under: Canal boating, Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 6:10 pm

Amaryllis pushes into the lock.

Amaryllis pushes into the lock.

Hotel barges are a comfortable way to experience France. On board one can cruise through the countryside in the lap of luxury. You can even glide through Burgundy’s vineyards while relaxing in a hot tub. (more…)

January 27, 2016

France: Châtillon-sur-Loire


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The Briare Aqueduct carries the Canal lateral à la Loire over the Loire River. On the southwestern side of the river, the canal turns to the southeast and about five kilometers later arrives in Châtillon-sur-Loire. (more…)

February 16, 2015

England: London, Battersea Power Station


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The Battersea Power Station viewed from the Thames.

An iconic part of the Thames scene is the Battersea Power Station. This Art Deco-style structure dates from the 1930’s. It is the largest brick building in Europe. With its expansive cathedral-style design and 338 ft high smokestacks, Battersea Station commands the view from the Thames. (more…)

France: The Fontinettes Ecluse


Leaving Fontinettes Ecluse

Leaving Fontinettes Ecluse

Locks on Europe’s commercial waterways are generally large. Indeed, the locks on the Grand Gabarit, northern France’s barge superhighway, are designed to fit barges up to 36 feet wide and 469 feet long. Aside from being wide and long, locks on commercial waterways are often deep. Particularly deep is les Fontinettes, an ecluse on the Grand Gabarit near Saint Omer. (more…)

November 28, 2014

England: London, Little Venice and Paddington Basin


Paddington Basin

Paddington Basin

In August we were “forced” into an extended stay in London waiting for a weather window to take Wanderlust across the English Channel. Everyone who has made the Channel crossing in his or her barges told us that we would not have to wait forever. The weather, we were reminded, will turn in our favor and crossing the Channel in our home would at some point be possible. It is just a matter of waiting for a good window. Nevertheless, though we trusted what we were told, at the moment taking our barge to France seemed to be a nebulous dream. (more…)

November 26, 2013

England: Churnet Valley Railway


All aboard in Froghall

All aboard in Froghall

As near as I can determine, Britain has about 200 functioning heritage steam railway lines.  Through the help of thousands of volunteers relics of Britain’s steam rail past have (more…)

August 23, 2012

Wales: Pontcysyllte Aqueduct


A narrow passes high over the Welsh countryside

“A, E, I, O, U and sometimes Y and W.”

(more…)

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