Brrr! It was only 8° when we cast off from our mooring in Dole on Friday. A lovely sunny day to start but there were a lot of dark grey clouds looming on the horizon. And of course it started to bucket down at the second lock and we got drenched. Oh well, you get that with boats!
The last couple of weeks have been very cruisey, without any cruising! We had a rental car for a week (Europcar €195) and used it to visit a few spots out of the boats reach. Chateau de Savigny-Les-Beaune, near Beaune, is an amazing Chateau, originally built around 1340 for the Duc Eudes, then all but demolished in 1478 in retribution for the Duc taking the side of Marie de Bourgogne against Louis X1.
It was restored and extended in the 17th century by the Bouhier family. Since 1979 the chateau has been again restored and is the property of a large vineyard which produces seven premier crus. Not only is there a magnificent chateau to explore, there is a petit chateau, built 1683, restored as a tasting room and dining area. But it’s the museum of motorbikes, nearly 250 bikes dating from 1902 to 1960, 25 rare Abarth racing cars, almost 100 fighter planes, 20 fire engines, 30 prototype tractors and all kinds of ancient and not so ancient wine making paraphernalia. It’s a stunning collection especially the fighter planes. We spent a good few hours walking the estate and taking it all in.
Other day trips included Beaune itself, the premium Vosne Romanée wine growing area, (up to €10,000 a bottle) and in the Jura mountain area, Besançon with its stunning citadelle, Arbois and its nearby waterfalls, Baume-les-Messieurs for a delicious regional lunch and Chateau- Chalon for some wine tasting. The area is beautiful with towering cliffs and vine- clad valleys. We tried and purchased a few Jura wines and had a lovely time.
Eventually it was time for our guests, Georgie and Chris, to say their farewells and take the train up to Paris and their flight home. We decided to stay on in Dole for another week as the weather turned cool and wet, not good for cruising, and Dole is a favourite spot of ours.
But, as I said, we finally cast off this morning and unfortunately headed straight into a torrential downpour. We descended nine locks, out onto the Saône river and by that time the rain had stopped and the sun was shining again and the temperature up to 15°. Autumn is definitely here.
Next up was the fuel pontoon in St Jean de Losne. The cashiers office was closed so we used our NZ credit card four times as the limit is €140 per transaction. A long process and of course rather expensive. But we are happy with the fuel usage figures for Silverfern. Pretty economical.
Since we arrived back in St Jean de Losne the weather has been cold at times and wet. We are awaiting better weather to start the process of washing all the linen and towels, cleaning the inside and outside of the boat and starting a list of jobs we hope the people at Blanquarts Marina will do once we have gone home. We’re leaving the boat in the water again this winter.
We take the train to Dijon and on to Paris on the 28th and then a bus to Charles de Gaulle where we will stay the night at the Novotel. Then on Friday 29th it’s Singapore Airlines all the way home (with 13 hours in Singapore airport).
We are really looking forward to getting back to NZ!
Here are the stats for our last trip:
Dole to Saint-Jean-de-Losne
Engine hours: 4.3
And lastly this year’s totals.
Engine hours: 200.5