Bye vineyards

Monday, June 7 – Venarey-Les-Laumes: We were reluctant to leave our host for two nights this morning because, as she had on Sunday, she prepared a beautiful crepe for each of us for breakfast — what a great idea!

But off we went to visit the sole remaining barrel marker in the area. It was very much a do-it-yourself tour: what you see is what you get.

It was a strange mixture of old-fashioned hammering on iron rings and rather modern hydraulic equipment to do the really heavy lifting.

We spent most of the day following the course of the Canal of Burgundy, dug between 1730 and 1835 and a major means of overland transport (it connects the Seine with the Rhone). About six years ago, we spent a week on a small rented boat cruising the canal (and going through the locks which one operates oneself) in the area slightly south (around Dole) so the fantasy of slipping slowly along was one we could identify with.

At lunchtime, we stopped at a point where a large pond permitted barges to stop for longer periods. A jolly (and rotund) Englishwoman had set up a snack business and provided our meal of tomato salad and “jambon frites” (our own potato chips: poulet roti with thym, of course!).

A ways down the road we encountered the highest elevation of the canal where it was thought easier to build a two-mile tunnel rather than the additional locks to surmount the continental divide!

Finally, in Semur-en-Auxois, we saw a most impressive cathedral-sized church with fine ancient stained glass. But they were keeping up the craft as demonstrated by this World War I window in commemoration of the American army’s assistance.

At the end of the day, we couldn’t rouse anyone at the super-cheap hotel we’d read about, so we enlisted the tourist office and found this very out-of-the-way old farmhouse:

Our host was embarrassed to admit that she did not own a computer but that was very much in keeping with the style of the place.

2 Responses to Bye vineyards

  1. George T. says:

    Crepes Suzettes are Niki’s favorite dish. What was the filling? She likes ANY sweets. Myself, I like them with spinach, CHEESE and sour cream!!! Figures!
    Are you a good “locker”? Is it easy? Do you get help or at least instructions?
    Do you get to do the cooking or you just “savor” other people’s cooking? I wish you learn a lot, so we can benefit in the future.

    What’s next? getting more and more jealous.

    • B Ruml says:

      George and Niki: We’ll have to have some crepes suzettes ASAP! We made some crepes for the first time in years a few months ago: it’s one of those things that should be in regular rotation and isn’t.

      Going through a lock is easy enough (but much easier if the water is already at your level). Opening and closing the doors is strictly mechanical, with some help from gears. We certainly didn’t try it without having watched others do it a few times, but it’s all straightforward.

      We have only once had a chambre d’hote with a “kitchenette” and thought we’d get to try out the frying pan we bought in Paris just for the purpose. But the local restaurants (north of Colmar) were too good to waste, so we never actually did cook. We’re waiting for the next opportunity! (Next on the wish list is a hotplate which would make it easier.)

      As I’m writing this on Thursday, I can tell you that on Monday I thought I knew “what’s next” but I was very wrong. (read following posts) So, we can only say we’re headed towards Chartres and then to the coast around Noirmoutier.

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