Canal du Centre

Canal du Centre

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Auxerre, August 8 to 12

When we were in Auxerre in 2009 we tied up in the marina right across from the center of town. When we left, we noted mooring places right after the first lock of the Nivernais, right next to a big park. Other boaters had told us it was a great place to moor (and free! The in-town moorings are expensive) so that’s where we tied up about 2 Wednesday afternoon. There were thunderstorms overnight and in the morning; it had finally cooled off.

The postcard shot. The Museum-Abbey of Saint Germain on the right 
and Saint Etienne Cathedral on the left.

Saint Etienne’s entrance porch

We spent the three days wandering about the city, enjoying the beautiful architecture and having a very pleasant Friday lunch at the Pause Gourmand. Friday was also market day so we paid a visit to the marche covert. Being August, France’s vacation month, many of the merchants were not in attendance but we were still able to find some great produce and cheese.

Auxerre’s mascot is Cadet Roussel. His real name was Guillaume Joseph Roussel but he was the youngest of his family so he was nicknamed Cadet. Born in 1743, he moved to Auxerre in 1763, working as a servant and footman before becoming a bailiff’s clerk. Shortly afterward, he bought himself an office and set himself up as an independent bailiff. He was apparently pretty eccentric.
One of his political enemies composed a song to make fun of him but the move backfired. The tune became a favorite marching song for French soldiers during the 1792 Revolution and spread throughout the country.

The Bailiff himself in Place St. Eus├Ębe.

Sunday morning a little after 9 am we entered Lock #80, the last lock on the Canal du Nivernais. Since Clamecy we had been ducking in and out of the Yonne River. From now on the navigation would be almost entirely in the river, downstream to the Seine.

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