Category Archive

Zwin Nature Reserve, Belgium Zwin Nature Reserve, Belgium

  With our New Zealand friends joining us this day, we took the train from Brugge to Heist, then completed the remaining 6km journey to the Zwin by bike. What a delightful dune and heath landscape this was, with its large tidal lagoons, tall grasses and multitudes of flora in bloom. Nosy geese peered, storks fed, horses […]

Zeebrugge, Belgium Zeebrugge, Belgium

One of Bob’s wishes was to visit Zeebrugge where he could explore the marine shop and marina. Today was it! Roughly a 30km round trip, the weather was in our favour. The township, itself really was a true seaport town that, from the number of shops and apartments closed, appeared to be experiencing a slump in the […]

2018 2018

2018 Journey on Maps Vlissingen, Netherlands to Paris, France Return to Vlissingen, Netherlands   Maps used come from Tom Sommers books on France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Bougival to Cergy: Paris, France Bougival to Cergy: Paris, France

The highlight of the day was visiting the remains of Machine de Marly, another link to Chateau Versailles. Along the way were information boards containing images from well known Impressionists and details about the history of the machine.   Situated just down from the lock, approximately 12km from Paris by road, in its day, this […]

Time to Depart: Paris to Bougival, France Time to Depart: Paris to Bougival, France

Our time in Paris had come to an end for this year, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last of our visits. To our delight, our friends, Anne and Cliff chose to journey to Vlissingen with us. Intending to travel via the St Martin and St Denis canals for something different, this wasn’t to be. […]

Jardin des Plants and Palais Luxembourg: Paris, France Jardin des Plants and Palais Luxembourg: Paris, France

Bob and I were busy exploring on this hottest of days. Also known as the National Museum of Natural History, the Jardin des Plants has an interesting history and during spring would be spectacular. Unfortunately being both a drought year, and the end of season, the garden wasn’t at its best, so no pics I’m […]

Arc de Triomphe and Sacre Coeur Basilica: Paris, France Arc de Triomphe and Sacre Coeur Basilica: Paris, France

Arriving at the Arc de Triomphe, Bob and I circumnavigated the structure before arriving at the entrance to the pedestrian tunnel that led the visitor beneath the road and up to the base of this impressive structure. Constructed at the behest of Napoleon in the early 1800’s, its purpose was to honour the French troops […]

Versailles, the Dreamscape Beyond…. Versailles, the Dreamscape Beyond….

Day two at Versailles……… Discovering how large the estate was, Bob and I arrived just prior to lunch. Would you believe the crowd was four lanes across and growing! Thank goodness we visited the chateau yesterday. Did we really think we were going to see all in the gardens today? Not a chance we discovered. […]

Versailles, France: A King’s Dream Versailles, France: A King’s Dream

A dream come true for me personally: what a birthday present!!!! Only 16km from the centre of Paris and easily reached via rail, set on 800 hectares of land, this French Gothic masterpiece with its English styled gardens was the dream child of Louis IV, the Sun King. Luxurious, opulent, ostentatious, extravagant, lavish and grandiose […]

Le Viaduc des Arts, Paris, France Le Viaduc des Arts, Paris, France

Opening in 1859 as a railway in 1859, the line took travellers from Bastille to the suburb of Verneuil l‘Etang. Taking six years to complete and a short distance from the Arsenal Marina, this 1.5km link comprised of a 64 vaulted viaduct – Viaduc de la Bastille and tunnels. Operating for just over a century, […]

Paris Arrival: Bougival Lock to Paris (Arsenal Marina) Paris Arrival: Bougival Lock to Paris (Arsenal Marina)

  Our intention to enter Bras de Marly via the Bougival Lock didn’t take place today. Both lights having turned red late the evening before, they still remained so at 10am this morn. Radio and phone calls to request entry unanswered, we continued upstream on the northern arm and entered the Chatou Lock instead. We […]

Limay to Bougival Lock, France Limay to Bougival Lock, France

  Yesterday, was the time for us to depart Vernon and point Gratis’ bow Paris way. Without exception, we shall return and continue on to the mouth of the Seine in the near future. Except that the weather and light for photography was greatly improved, this return trip to Limay was just a repeat of […]

Monet’s Garden, Giverny, France Monet’s Garden, Giverny, France

From Vernon, an 8km bike ride soon found us at the township of Giverny and the iconic gardens of impressionist, Claude Monet. Two bits of advice are to pre – purchase tickets online and to ensure you visit on a day when the large river cruise ships aren’t in. On arrival at their new home, […]

Creil To Cergy, France Creil To Cergy, France

September! It can’t be already! At last, blue skies provided the most vibrant of colours on this pleasant no drama day motor down the Oise So often, it is the sights one sees that make the memories.

Peronne, France: Entrance to the Somme Peronne, France: Entrance to the Somme

Situated on a hillside overlooking the Somme Valley, the township of Peronne was once well fortified. Throughout history, Peronne found itself at the centre of devastating squirmishes, and sadly, all that remains today is the Porte de Bretagne. Walking through the town, the visitor will find sign and pictures telling stories from history past. This […]

Lock 7 to Peronne Lock 7 to Peronne

First thing this morning, Bob went through all of the engine system checking for blockages and found nought. This left only one other scenario causing the engine to cut out: the muffler. Believing new parts would be required to solve the problem, we continued on our way, taking care to keep the revs below 2000. […]

Maison du Marais, Saint – Omer, France Maison du Marais, Saint – Omer, France

Today was the UNESCO man and biosphere accredited 22,000+ hectare Maison du Marais experience. This region is comprises of marshes throughout which small channels run, all fed by the Aa or canal d’Aa. In operation since 13th century and the only French marsh to undergo continual cultivation, it is in this fertile landscape that generations […]

Nieuewpoort to Veurne, Belgium Nieuewpoort to Veurne, Belgium

Another early morning start took Gratis through the lock into the basin that led the cruiser either seaward or southbound. This morn, our path led us west to VYNieuwpoort and the slip. The lift ready, in and up went Gratis. It was now that the battle with the stony bank – resultant of that inept […]

Tornai, Belgium Tornai, Belgium

The bikes offloaded, Bob and I set off on a pleasurable ride to Tornai. Situated on the border of north – western Wallonia, what a town this was! With 2,000 years of history that dated back to 1BC as Tornacum under Roman rule, in our minds the oldest city of Belgium easily rivalled Gent. Our […]

Peruwelz to Peronnes, Belgium Peruwelz to Peronnes, Belgium

Today’s was just a short leg to the marina at Peronnes. We wanted to check out the township of Tornai and its pontoons prior to continuing there. The 14m lock just outside of Peronnes marina was an easy drop with its floating bollards.