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

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

Naix-aux-Forges to Ligny-en-Barrois

Posted by contentedsouls on 24/12/2014

8 locks, 7 kms and 1 communication with l’eclusier

The VNF turned up and set lock 15 for us at 9.30, so G set off on the boat (having beat me to the RCU) and I set off with Muttley – just 3 of these (not) automatics, then 5 under our control. We have a (probably incorrect) theory that we are not tall enough for the beam thingy to realise that we’ve left, so the gates don’t close and, therefore, the next lock doesn’t set. So G waved a long pole at the beam and when I reached L16 it had set, yeah! So did 17, (approached over a rather pretty aqueduct) yeah! Home and dry? ……… no. The downstream paddles wouldn’t open cause one of the upstream paddles wouldn’t close. Grrrr!

Locks 18-22 were a doddle, but I walked anyway to compensate for our Christmas excesses and it’s also quicker having someone on the bank to lift the bar rather than slow down to put someone off.



On reaching the little harbour area there was a bankside slot which looked just about Matilda Rose sized. Perfik! We also have free shore power so we can fall asleep in front of as much telly as we want over Christmas.


Showered and towpath clothes swapped for city clothes, we hit the supermarket in search of Christmas dinner; choosing prawns, smoked salmon and guinea fowl. The French have there main meal at midnight tonight and eat masses of sea food and shellfish. Fresh oysters were changing hands by the crateful. No queues, nothing in your face, no stress, no hassle. Just a time for families to come together without the hype.


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Yesterday we went to The White Horse for lunch. A new restaurant run by two sisters and a niece. The mother is French but the girls were brought up in Corsica. Dad was over from America to help with the restaurant launch and we received free drinks for our review on trip advisor. The food was fabulous and the service delightful.

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So it’s a Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Feliz Navidad, Frohe Weihnachten, Vrolijk Jerstfeest, G’day Cobber, from us – we shall raise a glass tomorrow to absent friends; we might raise one tonight as well!

Thank you for sharing our European journey.

8 Responses to “Naix-aux-Forges to Ligny-en-Barrois”

  1. Lesley K said

    Have a good one!!


  2. Kevin TOO said

    Happy Christmas my friends 😊
    Joyeux Noël mes amis 😊.


  3. Kath said

    And a glass will be raised by the Herbies! We’ll probably more than one 🙂 but one will be just for you.
    Kath (nb Herbie)


  4. ianmccauley2014 said

    And to you too maaate! We’ve really enjoyed following youse. Warm as we are here in Aussie, we do hope you find somewhere warm for when the snow falls. Take care and keep warm.


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