Tuesday, 3 December 2013

13th - 31st October 3013, Briare, our winter mooring

So busy was the trip, like a crossword puzzle, 6 up and 11 down (locks that is), that we didn't take any pix of the trip, but eventually we were moored (well, 6pm on the 13th, after leaving at 09:00) as you can see:
On the right?  See, okay, here's a closer view:

Lovely central location (oh dear, Estate Agent speak), right in the town, restaurants on the right, etc.  Lots of other boats the other side of the bridge, and in another boat yardy sort of place, and behind me:
Nice and warm again, using our fancy new chairs (somehow squeezed into our car last time).  Someone decided to go explore in the canoe:
Then some other friends of ours decided to come and check us out in their inflatable!
Now Briare is chiefly famous for its long viaduct (canal above the ground, or in this case, over the hugely wide Loire river) which was built by Monsieur Eiffel (wasn't he a busy man?!) and is ridiculously elegant:
That's all made in cast iron, don't know how they moved it!
Here's someone to give you a better sense of scale:
We did some exploring downstream, that's on the right of where you're looking now, beautiful area, we walk and cycle(d) there a lot:
This here Loire is a proper river (a fleuve in French, meaning a river that flows all the way to the sea, rather than a tributary) and is in December is flowing at around 6mph for all of its width here.  That's a challenge!
Here is the view from the other side of our view, the bridge, showing the last lock we came through (it's actually the last working lock, as the next one is a historic and leads, via another, down onto the Loire itself.  It is used for special trips, and before Eiffel put up his viaduct that's how they reached the canal on the other bank, quite a long way to go and tough.  So here's the view, and the nice building on the right is the Capitainerie office, our showers, loos, social area, swap shop and secondhand stuff:
They do like their flowers, one in the form of a boat:
We have a number of aquatic/quacky supplicants, notably these pretty little fellows:
There's also a Llama and Alpacca centre a little walk away:
Then at the end of November they removed all their flowers, and started doing some topiary all over the place, this right opposite us:
I must remember to show you their winter flower arrangements, which figure a large number of decorative cabbages!  They look so nice I'm surprised some poor soul hasn't saved himself the considerable expense of actually buying one!  One last view from the viaduct:

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