Lucas' (Claude & Karine's son)
Kermesse (school fete). It was
still hot and the locals were
starting to complain about "le
canicule" (heatwave). The last
time it had rained was towards
the end of May, but we
Californians preferred the heat
to the cold and rain. Everyone
was hesitant to voice the word
canicule, after the summer of
2003. That WAS hot!
We decided to travel north
towards the border of France
and Belgium and just see how
far we got. We wanted to be in
the Nancy area for Julie's
arrival at the beginning of
September, as we were sure
that we wanted to travel
between Nancy and Strasbourg while she was visiting for
We made quick work of the Saône River from the
mooring at St. Symphorien to Corre the beginning of the
Canal de Vosges. Corre was the beginning of some really
nice areas that we had previously visited and were
anxious to return to. Our first stop was to visit one of the
oldest glassworks in France - La Rochère, established in
1475. Visitors can wander their grounds, visit their gift
shop with a display and film on how their glass is made,
but also view the glass bowers and the production line.
Check the site out for details on their hours (attention: the
english version does not have current hours. Please check
their french section for current hours of operation) If you
find yourself anywhere near this area, make the time
and effort to visit. It was about a 15 min ride, uphill on the
Honda from our mooring spot. Boy, we were glad we
didn't have to take our bikes!
From there we continued to the end of the Canal de
Vosges (formerly the Canal de L'Est Branche Sud) on to
the Moselle and to Toul at the beginning of the Canal de
Meuse (formerly the Canal de L'Est Branche Nord). It was
fun to stop in Toul at the port, as this was where we left
JoLi' in November of 2001 on our way down from Holland
to return home to California for Thanksgiving. Toul looks
much better when there are leaves on the trees!
From there we moved north until reaching the city of
Verdun which was also a stopping point for us on our
journey in 2001. We stayed there for a little more than a
week and took the motorcycle to visit many of the WWI
battlefields, monuments and cemetaries in the area.
While in Verdun the heat wave broke, temperatures
dropped and the rain arrived. These conditions were to
remain with us for the entire month of August.
Rather than wait for a better weather day for more
visiting in the Verdun area, we departed with the
knowledge that we'd stop on our way over to Nancy.