Our Barge, Odysseus

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Digoin, or Welcome to the Canal du Centre August 13

After a couple of days paralleling the Loire River, we entered the town of Digoin where the Canal Lateral a la Loire becomes the Canal du Centre. The Canal du Centre was built in the late 1700's to connect the Loire and the Saone Rivers.
But first it must cross the Loire. Rather than have to lock down to river level and then lock up the other side, in 1835 an aqueduct was built over the Loire to carry the beginning of the canal.

The lock gates are about to open and we will cross over the Loire into Digoin.

The view from the river.

The weather had been very hot and we'd spent alot of time seeking shade. Luckily, just on the other side of the "pont canal" (canal bridge) there was a secure place to tie up under some trees for afternoon shade. Also from there it was just a short walk to the river for a refreshing swim.
We were lucky enough to see a couple of full size barges navigating the canal, full size being about 39 meters (120') long.

The other "must do" on Digoin was the Thai restaurant. We had been told by our friends John and Patti Hardman that this was a requirement of any visit to town. We had a very good meal (including thai curried frog legs; they do taste like chicken!) but the highlight of the meal was the "digestif". The very nice young waiter brings a bottle of what he called sake (but tasted more like gasoline) and two small cups, carefully placing them on the table and filling them before bowing and backing away with a silly grin on his face. When filled with liquid, the cups display a pornographic picture in the bottom and the restaurant is nice enough to provide a different picture for the men and the ladies!

We also saw this very dapper gentleman taking his Friday morning stroll. In France, you can accessorize anything with a loaf of bread.

Saturday morning it was off down the Canal du Centre, the first stop Paray le Monial.

No comments: