Friday, 17 September 2010


Canal de Nivernais on board canal boat "Magnifique"!!

I can't believe a year has gone by since our canal trip in France last year!

On Wednesday 16 September 2009,
six of us embarked on our week afloat on the
Canal de Nivernais in Burgundy.

We started our journey in the pretty village of Chatel Censoir

Accommodation for our first night was in the 17th century villa

Maison Saint-François.

Our very attentive hosts Michel and Michelle Samson have

restored this beautiful old building which they now run as a Chambre d'hôte.

The next morning we boarded our good vessel "Le Magnifique"

and set off on our canal adventure.

Our boat was well equipped with four cabins, all with en suites.

The large main saloon had a table and comfortable seating.

There was also a galley (aka kitchen) with great cooking facilities -

however, apart from making tea and coffee and the occasional

piece of toast - we neglected to use it... more on that later!

Entering our first canal - it looks so narrow, so our master

mariners took things very quietly....

waiting patiently while the water level rose to the top

this is typical of the lock keepers houses. Mostly, they are well

looked after with pots of brightly coloured annuals.

Several also had displays of friendly gnomes and animals as well!!

Our lock keeper waiting for the water to reach the top before he opens the gate.

Click on the photo to see the colourful flower baskets on the lock gates too!

Phew! We made it and the boat is still in one piece - no scratches!!

Bridges everywhere along the canal

Each morning we rode our bikes to the village boulangerie

where we boughtour baguettes, croissants, pain au chocolate,

and scrummy pastries for eating later in the day!!

Usually there was a market where we filled our baskets

with delicious ham, pate, tomatoes and lettuce for the baguettes.

Perfectly ripe rockmelons were our favourite fruit,

they were so sweet - ooh I would love a piece as I write this!!

Another pretty bridge... if you click on the photo you will see the

baskets of colourful geraniums!

You will also see our New Zealand flag proudly

displaying our logo "the Silver Fern".

Sometimes, we three girls rode our bikes along the tow path

between the villages.

We easily beat the boat which managed only 5-6 knots!!!

The landscape was never boring

Each evening we went ashore into the village for dinner.

Usually we had a choice of restaurant and always the food was amazing.

We had only one rule on the boat, we three girls decided

we were not cooking meals during our 7 day cruise,

I'm sure you all agree wholeheartedly with that rule!!! Yea!!!

Approaching Auxerre where we spent our last night together.

There was a huge number of canal boats here and we met some

interesting people.

Auxerre is an old town, the Church of St-Germain has frescoes

that were painted in 850 AD, some of the oldest in France.

Early evening we enjoyed an illustrated talk in the Gothic

Cathédrale St-Étienne.
Then we enjoyed our 'last supper' together at a quay side

restaurant with amazing traditional French food.

Back to the boat for our last sleep afloat....

Au revoir "Canal de Nivernais", you treated us well and

we enjoyed our time with you!

PS: My friend Freda of "Sew Whats New" is having a
Giveaway to celebrate her 300th post! Please hop
over to her blog here check out her amazing work
and enter her draw!


  1. Exquisite!!! Thank you so much for this armchair vacation this morning!! I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!
    Warm hugs, Laura

  2. Looks like a wonderful trip indeed. I do love travelling so much! Thanks for sharing! Your napkin swap looks like fun and definitely the easiest of swaps since there is no creating involved. My aunt sent me home this summer with some lovely napkins that I have yet to use for crafting. Soon! Best wishes for a wonderful weekend, Tammy

  3. What a magnificent trip. I always thought those canal trips so romantic
    and definitely the way to view the scenery in a totally relaxed way.
    I bet you wish you were going again. xox Corrine

  4. I've thought a canal trip in France would be a wonderful vacation. But we chose a land-based, on our own trip. We thought that there might be too much time spent on the boat and not enough time tramping over the land. Did you find that?

  5. What a wonderful trip down the canal and in such comfort. I've loved looking at your pics and feel like I've taken a mini holiday myself.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  6. What a beautiful journey! We have friends who did a similar trip last summer and they loved the leisurely pace. I think that I would wear myself out racing off on the bike to get as much done as possible before "missing the boat!" I think that my husband and I would really enjoy this trip.

    Merci beaucoup for this vicarious trip -- just lovely!


  7. First you are such a doll to mention Frida's giveaway and what a fabulous bbb she has full of creativity!
    This post is DELIGHTFUL
    AMAZING Shane ...
    thank you so very much for sharing some of your special float with us ... it sounds and looks like a memory maker indeed ... boats and I do not get along all that well ... but I must tell you this ... your bateau sorely tempts me!
    Love the rules of the water too ... now I must go back for a closer look at each and every photo ... just brilliant!
    Magnifique Qui Qui!!!!

  8. Hi Shane,

    Many thanks for sharing your wonderful Canal trip with us. Looks like the perfect escape, epecially with the wet and wild weather we have been having here this weekend. Your photos are beautiful and looks like a pretty part of France. Mind you what part is not pretty there?
    Absolutely nothing!

    Enjoy your Sunday

  9. What a gloriously rich post! Thank you so much for taking me along with you on your "return" to France! As you know, it's a favorite spot, but I've never seen it from the water!

  10. Wow! What a holiday. A wonderful way to experience another side of France. Photos are lovely and thanks for the tour, it was delightful. Take care.
    Pam x

  11. And you came back to little ole NZ after all that???? Are you completely mad??? lol
    I totally loved the photos, what an amazing trip, you get to see a whole new side of things from the water.

  12. I am sooo jealous! What a lovely trip you were blessed to take. Your photo's are to die for. Thanks so mush for sharing!

  13. Oh what a delightful trip and to take it with good friends....perfect. I know you will treasure the memories of this adventure for a lifetime.

  14. Wonderful site and I can tell what a beautiful trip from your images!!

    I have a Giveaway by the French Basketeer that I think you will love!

    Art by Karena

  15. HI Shane~ What a fantastic trip! I have long wanted to do a canal trip, and I really love the bikes on the front there; the best of both worlds, bikes & boats? thanks for stopping by today and now I am off to see more of your posts! I am your newest follower!

  16. Time goes so fast...what a beautiful place.

    Have a great week, cheers: Evi

  17. Hi Shane,
    How beautiful your trip was, thank you for sharing. I certainly agree with you on the cooking part of your trip too, we took a canal trip way back in 2004 and it was a lovely experience. Don't you just want to go back right now?

    Shane, I want to thank you for your kind comment about my cat, Gigi. I appreciate it so much. I also thank you for the hug and aroha. One of my grandmothers came over from Christchurch when she was 8 (on a ship ;) and loved that she was from NZ
    Thank YOU, Shane.

  18. I feel like I was there!! your photos of your wonderful trip are totally fab. Really nice post!

  19. What a lovely and romantic adventure. Love your pictures as well.
    Thank you so much for your lovely and sincere comment. I truly appreciate it.


  20. What a wonderful and historic journey, wish I was there, LOL
    Thanks for sharing :)


  21. I think this is everyone's dream! We go to France so many times, but somehow a canal trip just never fits in....Wonderful pictures and story: thank you for posting this!

  22. Hi Shane! what a gorgeous trip! i whole heartedly agree that one should never make supper on vacation! looks a fabulous time with lots of great memories! i will check out your link! ciao bella!

  23. This is so charming!
    Beautiful pictures! Dreamy adventure :)
    Thank you so much for linking and sharing your lovely memories :)

  24. Fabulous we have the canel du midi on our list of things to do, maybe next year :-)

    A tres bientot,

    Leeann x

  25. Oh! How lovely! Makes my heart ache for France. Several friends and I rode our bikes for two weeks in Provence in 2006. I would so love to do that again, although the boat trip looks absolutely lovely as well! It's great that you were able to ride bikes. Lucky you to have such wonderful memories.

  26. Bonjour, Shane, I dropped in and got sidetracked when I saw this link! What an awesome trip you had. No cooking -- Smart ladies:) Thanks for the vicarious travel. I've been through the lock at Honfleur but never on a full-fledged canal cruise. Sweet!



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