Our Barge, Odysseus

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sens July11-16

Tim would be leaving us and our friend Ines joining us during this week. There are very good train connections between Sens and Paris and, since the canals are closed for France's "Fete Nationale" (Bastille Day, July 14), we figured we'd stay put for a while. There's a good free mooring here with water and electricity, a big grocery store and nice boulangerie nearby. What more could anyone need?
From our guidebook, Sens is named for a Gallic tribe, the Senones, who captured Rome in 390 BC. In the 12th and 13th centuries it was a major ecclesiastical center but fell into decline during the religious and the succession wars of later centuries. It's pretty quiet now but has a beautiful cathedral, one of the first gothic churches in France, along with a museum that houses a major collection of Gallo-roman artifacts.
As seems to happen often, the cathedral is undergoing some renovation so the tower is covered in scaffolding but the major portions are still visible.

What you can see of the tower.

The city hall is just down the street and has a great facade.

The Gallo-roman section of the museum has a reconstruction of Roman baths that were found in the area. Tim got a good picture of the installation.

Bastille Day turned out to be much fun. There was a car show in the town square with some really nice old vehicles.

What would a car show in France be without some old Citroen CV's?

Tuesday night it was time for a fireworks show. We happened to be tied up in the perfect place to get a front row seat for the show and all of Sens seemed to know it. I tried to get a picture of the hundreds of people in the park next to us, lining the bridge behind us and standing along the road in front of us but in the dark it just didn't work. The show started about 10:30 (that's about when it's finally dark) and lasted for about a half hour. It was a really great show. Fifteen minutes after it was done, almost all of the people were gone, although a few of the local "yoots" stayed behind to exhaust the last of their firecracker stash.
Wednesday afternoon, after a little train snafu (a signal problem on the line meant she had to take the local instead of the express), Ines joined us and Thursday morning we were off in the direction of the Canal du Nivernais and the city of Auxerre.

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