Barging in Burgundy
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Day Five – 2nd July 2017
The plan was to have a day in Chalon-sur-Saône. One of our favourite spots. Also, a bigger place so, super handy from a shopping perspective. Sundays are slow at the best of times in France. You really want to be in a larger place like Chalon-sur-Saône on a Sunday. A village would have been deader than dead. It was a no brainer to lurk a bit longer. They have a fabulous food market on Sunday mornings so we hot footed it over the St Laurent bridge, followed the crowds, and immersed ourselves in the lanes that make up the market. Truth is French markets are not always good value. Supermarkets are often cheaper. But they are so seductive with their beautifully arranged produce and tastings. Vendors tout for business and it’s impossible to resist items you wouldn’t ordinarily see. Asparagus as fat as my wrist, black tomatoes, the freshest herbs and all sorts of berries.
We bought juicy summer melons, donut peaches and cherries. After our shopping, we stopped at a café next to the river for a French coffee. Caught up on Internet related stuff and moseyed back to the boat. There we did lots of non important things. Read, snacked, had a snooze and played cards. Late afternoon I went for a run along the river and came back to make Puy Lentil Rissoles with a chunky tomato sauce, minted peas and a cabbage and potato mash for supper. We washed that down with local red wine. It felt like the sun was never going to set. Still bright at 21.30pm. Across the river there was a festival of sorts and we could hear music.
Day Six – 3rd July 2017
Chalon-sur-Saône to Tournus
Before we left Chalon, we wanted to go to the hardware store (bricolage) and an organic food shop on the opposite side of the marina in a retail area. The weather had been cool and rainy but the forecast was for hot weather. On the boat, hot weather can be really hot. We hoped to find some shade cloth. What is shade cloth in French? No idea, but we tried to mime and use words we knew to explain and they seemed to understand as they took us to triangles of cloth with metal rings which we bought.
At the organic food shop, we went a bit crazy and stocked up on things you don’t easily find in the French supermarkets. Smoked tofu, veggie pates and organic toiletries. I love the soap they make in Marseilles. Back at the boat we untied and set off along the Saône toward Tournus. I was pronouncing it tour nos but it’s actually thoor noo. No wonder no one understood me. One big lock and a few hours later we tied up at the very last space in Tournus.
The mooring in Tournus is free. You get electricity and water. No amenities. There are public toilets scattered around the town but they’re not great. And defo no wi-fi. Free is always good so we weren’t complaining. You’re limited to 36 hours and then required to move on.
They say in the French Waterways map book that it’s around Tournus that the change between north and south France becomes apparent. The northerners have grey tall buildings with grey roofs. They are fair and reserved. The climate is cooler. Southern buildings are shorter with red tiled roofs and autumnal colours abound. The people are darker and more animated. It’s hotter in the south. And yes, I could see a difference.
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