Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Elegantly Wasted...

Is it just me, or do slightly (and sometimes more than slightly) dilapidated buildings look interesting and charming when you abroad, whereas at home, they would just look tatty? 



Is it the light? The "holiday" frame of mind? Maybe if I had to live next door to them, I'd revise my opinion and think them tatty after all. But at the moment, they are still seem charming.

We travelled with some new Finnish friends, Johanna, Joseph & Eevin for a week or so, but they have now gone on ahead of us, as they need to move faster than we do. So - Happy 40th Birthday Joseph! It was great travelling in convoy with them - and not just because there was one stretch of canal where they had a map and we didn't.

We are out in the sticks a bit, travelling on the Canal Lateral a la Loire. Beautiful countryside and some lovely little towns and villages en route.

We particularly enjoyed Chatillion-Coligny, a medieval walled town which had a wonderful (and free!) marina.

Inside the walled town of Chatillion-Colligny
Emma, doing her best "I am really cute" impression
We've also seen a number of great trompe d'oeil over the past week or so. This is my current favourite - painted on a garage door just by a lock entrance.

We also crossed the Loire at Briare a few days ago, via a magnificent aqueduct. It's over half a kilometre long and has walkways on both side. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel and is absolutely amazing.

Just entering the aqueduct
About halfway across
At the end, looking back
Tonight we are at Saint Satur and Stephen tells me we have now travelled 1,270 miles. Tomorrow (if the rain stops for long enough) we are planning to cycle up to Sancerre, which is the home of one of Stephen's favourite wines. It's a long, steep hill (especially with Emma on the back of my bike, plus she require a running commentary of what's going on around us), so wish me luck!

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