Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Monday, August 1, 2016

Toul to Verdun, July 11-15

We were just stopping in Toul for groceries and, as usual when there are water and power available, laundry. We spent a couple of days here in 2009 enjoying the Fete de Musique. We reminisced about old guys in Sgt. Peppers-like suits doing 60’s covers. Good times!
The fortification built around the city in the 1700’s are still mainly intact, including the surrounding moat and gates. Since there’s no water in most of the moat the grass has to be kept under control. They’ve found the “natural” way to do it. Turn loose a flock!

Chores accomplished we set out on Wednesday morning for our last set of “up” locks for the year. Toul is on the Moselle River and we’d climb up from that river to meet the headwaters of the Meuse. Luckily we only had 12 locks to reach the summit and that was accomplished by noon. 10 minutes after the last lock we entered the 867 meter long Foug Tunnel.

After the tunnel and the 10 k summit pound we headed down the hill with the river occasionally joining the canal for stretches. The river takes a very slow winding course so the distance between locks is usually around 5 or 6 k, a half hour or 45 minutes. Relatively stress-free cruising except that there is a shortage of places to tie up and a couple that we had intended to use were full. Luckily night two we found a nice mooring in the village of Ambly that wasn’t marked on our chart. And the boulangerie was just a 2 minute walk. Bonus!
Three medium-long days took us to the city of Verdun, the furthest south we reached on our 2008 voyage. Big doings were afoot for the weekend and we wanted to take part.

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