French Barge trip

By Nick Wilder



What better way to celebrate two 75th birthdays and a 50th wedding anniversary than 4 days in Paris and a 6 night barge trip down the Yonne River canal in Burgundy?  We joined a group of old friends at the Narcisse Blanc Hotel near the Place des Invalides and spent our days in Paris at museums, parks and restaurants.  On Sunday morning a bus took the ten of us on a two hour trip south to meet our barge on the Yonne River canal.  The barge, La Belle Epoque, was designed to fit into the canal locks with a foot to spare front and back and two inches on either side.  After every trip, the barge hull paint has to be touched up.  We had a crew of six including a gourmet chef and a helmsman with nerves of steel.  Our captain took us on tours of towns, vineyards and a falconry show.  To work off the delicious food we walked, biked and jogged along the canal path.  After another bus trip back to our Paris hotel, we wrapped up our adventure with a feast at a nearby cafe.
Here are some photos which I hope will give you a flavor of the trip.

Keven and I in front of our hotel

Keven and I in front of our hotel

Girl with a yo-yo

Belle Epoque with bridge and reflections

Keven under the roof of the Vuitton museum

A Paris street scene

Clock at the Musee D’Orsay

At the Luxembourg Gardens

Keven through a fabric sculpture at the Pompidou Center

View of Eiffel Tower from the roof of the Pompidou Center

A snug fit going through the locks

Our hosts Emille and Georgia

A friendly lock keeper

Interior of the basilica at Vezelay

An a cappella group performs

Sheep take shelter from the rain

Donkey on bridge above our barge

A kestrel

A peregrine falcon

Yours truly at the helm

Approaching Auxerre, our last stop

Belle Epoque with bridge and reflections