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 2017
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Archive for January 20th, 2017

Rat run through Paris

Posted by contentedsouls on 20/01/2017

We arrived at Notre Dame just in time to watch the lights go from red to green – hooray! Slightly disconcerting as you arrive, because all the trip boats coming upstream turn there before heading back downstream; mostly cutting straight across our bows. Also disconcerting was that, having entered the one way system on green, we were still encountering oncoming shipping… er missus! Oh well, there was plenty of room for everyone anyway.

P1190357Bateaux Mouche and Notre Dame

Glorious weather although the temperature was –1, add to that a not inconsiderable wind chill factor and you’ll know why I didn’t spend many minutes sat on the bow taking photos. The other reason I didn’t sit there for long was because each time one of the little bullet shaped water taxis (no photos – they go so fast I couldn’t even capture one in ‘sports mode’) shot by, the resultant wake broke waves over Francoise’ bow – not the right time of year for a soaking. It was the right time of the year for the trip though; there was relatively little traffic about and we were able to enjoy it whilst still keeping a good look out. We saw loads of people taking photos of us from a bridge whilst the water broke over us – what wouldn’t I give for one of those photos.


As we came back to the (supposedly) one way bit by Notre Dame the lights were red and, whilst we were checking the timings, we were called by the skipper in the bateaux mouche behind us (in several of the photos). He asked if we wished him to speak to us in French or English – not being an appropriate time for French lessons or ambiguities, we chose English. He told us to continue on but move to the left as there would be oncoming traffic, when we reached the main intersection again he advised us to return to the left bank. I’ve thought about this ‘one way system’ long and hard, but it still makes not one ounce of sense. Nor does going against a red light on the Seine in the centre of Paris but if you have a trip boat up your bum and the skipper tells you to go ………….you go.

Excitement over, we slipped back up the lock onto the Marne and our mooring at Maisons Alfort. Sunshine, excitement and adrenalin were the best tonic ever and we had the most wonderful day. We had stayed here until we were well enough to make this trip – now we were free to continue on our coddiwomples.

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