Our first time in seven days not to have a destination, we unpacked the bikes and went “up the hill” to Chaumont city center. We needed to find the GARE train station to check the schedules for Charles de Gaulle airport. Ken had a scheduled flight on Sunday at 1:50pm. Schedules were slim and did not give us much hope of getting him there in time so we went to the tourism office to check bus and car rental. Found Eurocar and at 4pm, when they “re-opened” for the day, secured a car. I would drive Ken to Paris in the morning and then when I returned would have a car until the next day for errands.
Le Donjon – Built on a natural summit of 45 meters over the Suize Valley, it was constructed between the 11th and 12th century. It is the only remains of the Castle of Earls of Champagne. Until 1866 it was a jail, now it’s one of the sights of the city, and used for cultural events.
50 arches on a height of 53m’s makes it one of the most remarkable works d’ art of the medium of the 19th century in Europe, if not in the world. conceived by architect Emile Decomble, It was builds to allow the railroad to reach the high part of the city, the building site is in record time led, 15 month were enough to implement 60,000 m’ of masonry, thanks to 2500 workmen and 300 horses which worked night and day. The startup of the viaduct was an economic engine for the chief town. Partially destroyed on August 31, 1944, opening at once reconstructed to restore railway circulation. Its imposing majesty makes the emblematic figure of the city of it. It was used as framework has several films.”
My feeble attempt to translate the tribute to the Viaduc.
Refueling the boat has always been a issue and something that those on the canals have to plan for. We knew this from all the literature we read about the canals and had a small portable tank that we could carry into towns for refueling. Slow process that sometimes required several trips. With the rental car, this made it much easier. Of course, my first time at the pumps, I could not figure which pump was diesel or gas, then my US credit cards would not work in the machine. Other option, back out of the stall, forcing all the other cars waiting to back out also. I finally found the “cash” stall and got things going. After 5 trips, I had the boat diesel gauge on “FULL”, and had become quite friendly with the station attendant. I packed my bike into the rental car on Monday at 4pm and returned the car. The ride home on the bike was all downhill!
The entire week was full of sun and light winds. I rode my bike to the store, down the canal paths, and generally enjoyed the quiet of the Nautique. I have taken tons of pictures and have discovered Chaumont to be one beautiful city on top of a hill!
Friday, I secured another car to make a return trip to pickup Ken at Charles de Gaulle Saturday morning. Wendell and Shelly Meise will be there also so it will be a car full.
We will plan to restart our canal journey on Sunday as Saturday, May 1st is a National Holiday and EVERYTHING is closed! (except the airport)
And, surprise! I am now caught up with this blog. I am hoping that I can continue without too many “pauses” in our journals, especially with having company for the next 7 days on the canals!