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

  • November 2015
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

Besancon (moored Thurs 29/10 to Mon 2/11)

Posted by contentedsouls on 09/11/2015

On Friday morning G cycled off to fetch the car whilst I headed for the market; a very small, and fairly uninspiring, affair with mostly clothes stalls, a few ‘antique’ stalls and a couple of good fruit and veg stalls. I had thought it would be bigger and busier as the only general shops within the ‘loop’ were small Casino, a bit like Tesco Express, selling high priced ready meals and sandwiches with a few veg and chicken breasts or sausages. There were, however, plenty of delis, a wet fish shop and a couple of butchers – G could only park the car outside the loop which was too far away to use for shopping. As we’re going up (not very far) and back this canal, it would have been sensible to leave it somewhere at the beginning but we are quite close to the Swiss and German borders now and thought we might like a run out in the car at some point.

I then went walk about and met G for lunch in the rather swish red and gold place where we had to wait for a table at 12.15 but, as is usually the way, deserted by the time we left at 2.00pm


Saturday would, I thought, be our last day so I thought I’d the shops with my credit card in the morning (whilst G was running some errands) and I reckoned I could clock up some serious damage before the 12 o’clock closing time. Sadly, G also thought I could do some serious damage and spectacularly intercepted me at Galeries Lafayette (I think he’d turned the GPS tracker on my ‘phone on again) and lured me away with the promise of coffee and cake; by the time we’d washed the cake down with beer, most of the shops had closed.

Ignoring the shops in the afternoon, I felt I had to go for the climb up to the Citadel – despite still struggling with the chest infection that G had imported from England for me. I’ve never been very good at climbs and I was seriously hot and short of breath by the time I finally reached the Citadel gates. En route I encountered a lady who was ‘dressing’ a wedding car; parked outside of the florist (off picture, right) so she could line up the chosen stems straight from florist’s bucket to the ledge at the ATM. I should point out that this street was pedestrian access only.

I was also mightily surprised to find that the practice of yarn bombing had reached France.


Having finally reached the walls and recovered my breath I was alarmed to realise that, within the Citadel, I still had an additional distance to climb – onwards and upwards past the wildlife and time for rewards of views.


I chose to return the direct route via millions (I never exaggerate) of scary, broken steps. By the time I recovered level-ish ground, Halloween was in full swing and the children were out doing whatever French children do. The shop selling ghoulish costumes was packed out – talk about leaving things until the last minute.


Over the few days I developed a bit of a pash for this bridge


The obligatory (bad) pictures of the Citadel at night and bed for us as we were leaving in the morning.


So, bright and early on Sunday morning we were just about ready to leave when G spotted that 1/11 was a Bank Holiday, so we reverted into Sunday morning chill mode and G prepped the Sunday lunch before we went for a beer. Returning to the boat we found a French cruiser had moored at the other end of the vast pontoon for lunch and had reached the ‘somewhere between cheese and desserts course’ stage. We (I) identified ourselves as the occupants of the other boat and we were immediately invited round to join them for puds and pud wine – it would have been rude to have refused.


After a pleasant couple of hours with Marc and Evelyn and their guests, it was suggested that we join them for a meal in the evening. So they collected us by car and we joined three different friends of theirs in a restaurant for pizzas. Afterwards we all piled back onto MR and a thoroughly good time was had by all. A brilliant day but exhausting as Marc was the only one who had a smattering of English – credit given where due; G carried the evening whilst I floundered along in his wake.

So that’s how Sunday dinner turned into Monday dinner. Nothing wrong with roast beef and Yorkshire puddings on a Monday.


photo for Facebook


2 Responses to “Besancon (moored Thurs 29/10 to Mon 2/11)”

  1. juneg4ouh said

    Hi Jill and Graham. Glad to see you’re enjoying the Doubs, one of our favourites. Didn’t know that tying wool around things was called yarn bombing (shows how out of touch we are!) for years we have seen it tied round metal railings on French canal bridges and always wondered what it was all about. Which way are you going when you get to Niffer? It’s worthwhile turning right and going up to Basle, in Switzerland (add another country to the list of places visited by narrowboat) xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alas, we have gone as far as we dare now; this closes 8/12 to 22/1/16. Mulhouse, Niffer and Basle will have to await another day.
      I had thought ‘yarn bombing’ was quite recent so it shows how out of touch I am too.


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