Join us on our travels around Europe aboard our Dutch Tjalk Francoise

  • Jill Budd

    After 6 years aboard our Narrowboat Matilda Rose in the UK, we took the plunge and shipped her across to Europe. After 2 years in Europe we knew we didn't want to return to the UK so took the plunge and purchased a 1902 20 mtr Dutch Tjalk called Francoise and are now continuing our travels of the waterways of Europe in a buxom wench

  • September 2014
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

A long weekend in Toul with Avalon

Posted by contentedsouls on 14/09/2014

We made good time through our tunnel and 13 locks on Friday and caught up with Kevin and Debbie early afternoon. It seemed strange to start going downhill for the first time since long before we left Belgium. The first lock was quite deep, and therefore manned, and the Lockie took my our RCU from us and didn’t give us anything back in return! We found out later in the day that the navigation was closed at that lock shortly after we left – no idea why as there are two separate locks to choose from – he probably wanted an early start to his weekend as the weather is so glorious! The next 12 locks were all automatic and set for you when the boat breaks a beam, so all were ready and waiting for us. After the next 5 or so I was getting a bit bored so jumped ship and walked the dogs in the sunshine; although I had to put Baxter back on board after 30 minutes. Muttley and I continued on to walk into Toul, raising the activating bars in the locks as we went.

Once in Toul we found Avalon breasted up to a huge Swiss cruiser below the lock and beside the old castle ramparts but, being narra, we could moor behind without making life difficult for the peniches coming out of the lock. It took less than 2 minutes for Daisy to come home with her first mouse.

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After a catch up on Avalon we went back to MR for lunch before heading into town for a looksee but, just as we were about to leave, we had a knock from John who had moored his beautiful hotel boat opposite from us – we had met John in Lumes in the beginning of July and his was our first ‘repeat visit’ from someone we’d met over here.

This young cat was dangling high in the rafters, over the pavement, trying to catch birds – I just hoped it could get down again. I like Toul, it’s still small enough to be friendly but has everything you need and some lovely architecture.

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We got chatting to a French chap in a cafe – he called himself Rocky and was a bit of a Jack the lad but he took a shine to us and ended up taking G to the nearby cave and buying a bottle of the local speciality liqueur for Debbie and I to try (oops, sorry Debs I’ve still got it!). Kevin got himself man kissed when we said goodbye!

2 locks out from Toul and we were down onto La Moselle and back to giant commercial boats and giant locks again, it’s a lovely river – we also saw a Great White Egret; very rare in Western Europe according to my bird book

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We also caught up with Jo and Peter again – the delightful Aussies that we’d met in Pagny. Jo writes a blog for their grandchildren that Peter illustrates in ink and water colour. If you look at the second blog in August you’ll see their take on a narrowboat; it’s lovely frompapa

8 Responses to “A long weekend in Toul with Avalon”

  1. […] grandchildren while they cruise the French waterways.  Jill and Graham mentioned them on their recent blog and I have spent most of tonight reading it!  Fantastic.. So much so that I am going to put it on […]


    • Mmmmmm. Well I’ve got the middle bit Sue!


      • suenp said

        I never said a word!!

        How odd! That has posted automatically I think because I linked to this particular blog on my own blog last night!


      • Kevin TOO said

        Never mind how odd… I think it’s very clever, although slightly spooky…
        Give it another go Sue, see if you can do it again… thought transfer eh?? LOL


    • Kevin TOO said

      Keep up Jill,,, LOL
      Perhaps you should give Debbie the rest of that bottle of the local speciality liqueur… 😉
      Or is that photo of Graham with a half empty glass the remains of the bottle?? 🙂


  2. Alistair said

    Just been catching up with you and your travels. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time, despite language battles! So pleased all is well and your 4-legged companions haven’t jumped ship yet.


    • Hi Alistair – lovely to hear from you. We are having a ball and settling in well now. The language continues to baffle us, but we continue to improve; slowly. The dogs love the amount of food that lies about outside on sunny days and I think, on the whole, Daisy finds French mice a little trickier to catch.


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