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

  • January 2016
    M T W T F S S
  • Meta

Chalon sur Saone to Fragnes on the Canal du Centre

Posted by contentedsouls on 28/01/2016

1 lock and 8 kms

Given that VNF were on strike (together with most of France apparently), tired as we were, it would have been criminal not to have a look at the town we had unexpectedly visited – it had certainly looked pretty from across the river when I’d walked Muttley the night before. So we left Baxter to sleep off our disturbed night and went for a quick looksee. A very beautiful city and worth the effort it took us to walk in.


The rest of the day disappeared in the usual chores and we were early to bed – Baxter deigned to let us sleep through the night, for which we were extremely grateful, and we were up and raring just about with it again at 7. A very different day weather-wise; very misty with high levels of humidity and a bit of a breeze, but still warm. The mist seemed to make those gargantuan hotel boats even more ominous somehow, as MR ploughed through the water against the stream – now we’re on the opposite side from them you get a better idea of the vastness of this waterway.

2016-01-27 09.53.34P1130653P1130655

Very soon we hung a right and the big lock up off of the Saone onto the Canal du Centre was ready and waiting for us – even from the opposite end of the boat I was sure I heard Graham let out the breath he’d been holding since Monday morning! This lock was over 10 metres deep, with rising bollards and we were given a very gentle ride to the top. If you look very carefully at the centre photo you will see that everything looks very wet – water was pouring down the side of the lock and hitting the top of the riser that the bollard is mounted on; it then bounced off to shower both me and all the contents of the well deck – as I wasn’t expecting it I wasn’t wearing wets and I had no choice but to stand in the cold shower as we slowly rose to the surface. All the other risers were completely dry, it was just the one we used. One of us thought this was very funny.


This was the only lock of the day and the little canal was refreshing to our eyes as it meandered passed pretty buildings into Fragnes village. Blue tits were nesting in the holes in the wall in the second picture below – it was lovely watching them pop in and out.


We moored just in time to give the boys a quick walk and then hit the popular, port-side, restaurant – it was so nice not to have to feed ourselves or wash up. Afterwards we returned to MR to chill with our books and doze, with nothing else to do, for once, until Muttley’s walk at 5. Once again we were in bed by ten and with no need to set an alarm clock; the nearby church bells and local cockerel would make sure we didn’t oversleep. We’ve certainly experience some different countryside over the last few days.

3 Responses to “Chalon sur Saone to Fragnes on the Canal du Centre”

  1. andywindy said

    I bet the Saone did feel wide, especially back in a Narra boat! Some of those Hotel vessels are very large indeed, I watch a live Webcam on a ferry across the Rhine at Remengen to Linz in Germany (Where the USA crossed during WW11) and some of the Hotels are as long as the freighters and Tankers!
    Nice photos again Jill, I do like that wall painting, been trying to spell trompe de whatsit for 10 minutes so it’s a wall painting now!


  2. ‘Muriels’ as per 1960s Coronation Street – easier to spell. It means Sue and Vic have had to postpone their March visit to us!!!


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