Our Barge, Odysseus

Monday, August 08, 2011

Why Young Men Would Enjoy French Canal Cruising

Tim just emailed us these pictures from our trip.

On the Burgundy Canal all of the locks must be operated manually (check out the "Lock Game" in the sidebar and you can see the principals by which the locks operate if you don't already know). During the summer when things are busy, teams of lockkeepers, usually one professional VNF (Voies Navigables de France, the French waterways authority) employee with a student or two hired for the summer, operate a string of 2, 3, or 4 locks and then pass you on to the next team. When we left Vandenesse, the VNF guy seemed very happy, whistling while he worked and greeting us with a hearty "Bonjour!" when we approached the first lock. Then we got a look at his team. Oh, la la!

Nobody else was moving yet so we got these three for three locks.

The lock doors open with long levers and the doors can be pretty hard to open when the water is still pressing against them. Ms. Ducret and her "friend" were putting their backs into this door.

And then there were these happy boaters getting ready to go up a lock. The photographer had abandoned his post!

Thanks for the pics, Tim!

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