Verdun to Charleville-Mézières. The beautiful Meuse.

Leaving Verdun we continued our trip north with no fixed destination in mind and stopped for the night in Consenvoye where we cycled up to the German war cemetery. Here lie 11,146 German soldiers, a nurse, a Russian and 62 from the Austrian-Hungarian army in a beautifully kept treed cemetery.

Nice mooring in Consenvoye

German cemetery in Consenvoye

We tried out the bread from the bread machine as sadly there is no boulangerie in Consenvoye and actually the bread was excellent, much better than the offering from the machine in Toul.

The next day we headed on to Dun-sur-Meuse having our first incident in a lock this year, getting the rope jammed while descending and forcing us to quickly cut our way out of it, losing another good rope. These things happen though and we will just have to be more creative with the ropes we have left until we can replace it.

Pretty village of Cléry-le-Petit-Le-Petit on the Meuse

Dun-sur-Meuse is a great mooring although lots of biting bugs that had a good feast on me. You’re welcome. There is a steep hill with a fortress and church at the top with stunning panoramic views of the Meuse. The heat has really pumped up the volume with temps over 35°. It was a hot climb!

View from the top

On the way back down the hill

The following day, June 20th, was a cooler day (yay!). As we pulled up to the first lock the door jammed with a massive tree stump lodged in the way. We called VNF and reported the problem. A man arrived half an hour later but he struggled to move it. Eventually he put the lock through a cycle and let the tree stump out and an hour later we were on our way again.

On our way again

Remind me not to swim downstream!

It rained on and off all day and we tied up on Stenay for the night. The mooring is nice here but the town was a little disappointing with a lot of closed shops. The next day was market day with a few fruit and vegetable stands and a rotisserie chicken/paella caravan. We bought some salad veges then headed to the local Lidl for other supplies (wine and beer). Having ticked all the major food groups it was back to the boat to spend the day catching up on washing.

Heading further north we motored 25kms to the next stop in Mouzon. There’s a strong current here and we took a few attempts to get close enough to the quay to moor but finally managed and what a lovely spot it is. We visited the Abbey church, did a walking tour and tried to stay cool in this heatwave.

The buildings here are beautifully restored

Abbey church

Sunday Mass

The mooring got very busy during our two days there and we had a lovely surprise to meet up with friends and fellow kiwis Tony and Kay on their new boat. We enjoyed having a drink with them on Silverfern that evening.

We dragged ourselves away from Mouzon on June 22nd and had a long day on the water to arrive in Charleville-Mézières and yay! a spot under some trees on the long quay.

That’s us at the front


As I said the canicule (heatwave) that is hitting all of Europe is upon us big time with talk of temperatures over 40°! Luckily there is the odd breath of wind on the river which is very welcome. This city is beautiful, well cared for with stunning architecture. Named after it’s creator, Charles de Gonzague,

The man himself

the ‘new town’ was built in the 17th century with roads leading to the beautiful Ducal Place with arcades running along all four sides, offering bars and restaurants as well as shops.

Place Ducal

Place Ducal

Museum of Rimbaud, the famous French poet who was born here in 1854

There is an amazing patisserie close to the Place with the best baguettes I’ve tasted this year.

We visited the museum of the Ardennes which has artefacts from 2000BC through to current day art works. They have a great collection marionettes from different countries as well. Charleville-Mézières is known as the World Capital of Puppetry Arts.

Last night there was a salsa dance class next to our mooring on the river. Great music. Brought back memories.

So we are here In Charleville-Mézières until Sunday. Today we found out just by chance that this canal/river will be closed at the southern end due to lack of water. Next Wednesday. Not very good news for us as the only other way south is the Canal des Ardennes which won’t reopen this year due to a broken lock. You really have to be flexible doing this lifestyle! After working out we would have to really put the accelerator down and race back (in the raging heat), in order to get through those locks by the closure date we’ve decided to carry on northwards and see what happens. Maybe it will rain all of July and everything will be open again, who knows. This is the hottest June on record apparently and the earliest waterways have been lacking water that we’ve encountered.

The journey this post:

Verdun – Consenvoye

Engine hours – 3.6

Kms – 25

Locks – 4

Consenvoye – Dun-sur- Meuse

Engine hours- 3

Kms – 17

Locks – 5

Dun-sur-Meuse to Stenay

Engine hours- 2.3

Kms – 13

Locks – 3


Engine hours – 3.5

Kms – 25

Locks – 3

Mouzon- Charleville-Mézières

Engine hours – 5.7

Kms – 40

Locks – 8

Total so far this year:

Engine hours – 34.7

Kms – 205

Locks – 54

Tunnels – 2

About khodges2013

Alan and I divide our time between our apartment in Christchurch, New Zealand, and our 11.5m Dutch Cruiser, Silver Fern, on the canals in France. We started out hiring and eventually bought our boat in 2014. The two summers lifestyle is wonderful and we feel very lucky!
This entry was posted in 2019 adventure on the French Canals, Canal de la Meuse, French Canal boating, Holiday 2019, Meuse and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Verdun to Charleville-Mézières. The beautiful Meuse.

  1. Lindsay W says:

    For sure it’s certainly hot, from what we have seen on the news. To have water level issues (not wine and beer) and lock problems, Well as you have said before it’s all about the whole adventure . Wonderful little places and It’s all virtual reality for me. Safe boating and Stay cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stephanie says:

    Looks beautiful. Am loving the bread machine idea 😅

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lee Gossett says:

    Another great posting and wonderful photos. Keep them coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nikki says:

    Did you cut the rope with a knife ? It must have been tense! So adventurous xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Do they replenish the bread machine daily? Or does it cook? You’ve mentioned one before but I can’t remember… Frightening for the rope to be stuck but that’s happened before in the last two years I think – no less horrid though.

    Such interesting towns.

    Hope the water levels increase!

    Liked by 1 person

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