After a two week hiatus in the lovely Port de France, Toul it was finally time to wave bye-bye.
Toul was definitely one of our surprise highlights of the year. As you will be aware, well you will if you have been paying attention to this drivel over the course of the last few months, Toul was not on our original route to Auxerre, nor did we intend to stop here when our route changed – Nancy was our preferred port to harbour in whilst Nicola returned to the UK for a week.
However, as soon as we pulled into the Port de France we had a good feeling (inside – not a case of wandering hands!). The moorings are very well serviced, electricity and water available at ever mooring point, sturdy pontoons, helpful Captinaire (and student apprentice – Theo), and a great bistro on site with the eccentric Jean the chef patron.
Toul itself is a lovely city, well worth a visit should you happen on these parts. A magnificent Cathedral, great bars, coffee shops, restaurants and a wonderful weekly market. Considering it has such a turbulent past – revolving around conflict and more conflict, it really is a most welcoming port, whether in a storm or not!
Anyway, as rumoured above, leave we did, and continued south, leaving the Canal de Meuse and joining the Moselle, which in turn becomes the Canal des Vosges after a few dozen miles. After we skirted Nancy to the south on a large commercial waterway, we started travelling on the most stunning of waterways, wooded hills rose like guardians above the river, bejewelled with houses offering their occupants what must be truly majestic views over the valley below. The weather had cooled down from the 30+ degrees at Toul, but even had it been hotter, we would not have been inconvenienced as the Moselle is lined with sycamore, chestnut and a plethora of wild fruit trees and bushes offering shade to boaters, and walkers and cyclists using the towpath. In turn this led to a couple of nights of exceptionally beautiful and peaceful ‘wild’ moorings. Away from civilisation, no traffic, no noise and pitch black nights. Bliss.
And so we arrived at Charmes, which at first glance seems – well how can I put this – charming. But more to follow on what this town has in store for us.
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Toodle-pip and tatty-bye for now dear reader.