Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Saturday, July 4, 2015

In Dijon

A little before 9 on Wednesday we were underway again, ascending the long boring stretch of the canal into Dijon.  Straight as an arrow, flat countryside and a lock about every kilometer. After about 16 kilometers and 14 locks we were secured along the bank in Dijon about 3:30 pm.  We had to make a fisherman move, grumbling the whole time, because he’d set up his gear all over the bollard we needed to use but that’s the way it goes.

We were going to be here for several days as the Solstice was on Sunday and that’s cause for the “Fete de Musique” all over France.  Each town has free live music and Dijon, being a pretty large city, was going to have a wide variety of bands. Because we arrived Wednesday afternoon, however, we were going to have plenty of time to enjoy the city. Since we’ve been here several times before, we almost feel like locals. We don’t get lost….much.

One of our first stops was the Dijon city museum.  Between 1364 and the 1470’s, the Ducs du Bourgogne reigned over Holland, Belgium and major parts of France and were a major force in the art and culture of the Renaissance. Dijon was the seat of their power, although they had castles and gardens all over the area.  The museum in Dijon, in a newly restored section of the town hall/palace, has a wide collection of art and artifacts.  A couple of really beautiful altar pieces from the Champmol Charterhouse, plenty of paintings of important men with big hair and the reconstructed tombs of Phillip the Bold, the first Duc, and his wife Margaret of Flanders.

And, importantly, there is no charge for a visit.

Saturday was another big day for an entirely different reason.  Back in 2009 we had met another American owned barge, Vivante, in Charleville Meziers.  While we were still in the boatyard hell, we wandered over to the St. Jean waterfront and there was Vivante, still with an American flag on the stern.  It turned out the barge had been purchased by another American couple, Tom and Carol Cason from Florida, and they were on their way up to Dijon.  Their son, who now lives in Seattle, had decided to get married and he wanted to do it on their boat on the Saturday before the Fete de Musique in Dijon. 

 It was a very small, private ceremony but we did get a picture of the bride (standing), groom (seated) and a very relieved mother of the groom.

Taking “after” pictures

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