After enjoying a couple of warm, relaxing days in Epernay we travelled by 30-33 degrees to Châlons.

 Just below the lock is a beautiful harbour overlooking a tree studded park. The harbourmasters are young and friendly and facilities are modern and clean. Six boats out of 10 at the harbour were “Aussie”. Some of the Australians we had already met in Epernay. They were from Perth, Byron Bay, Kirribilli, Nowra and Sydney! It must be a coincidence that so many Aussies are gathered in the Champagne region??

Accordingly, in the evening, the aromas from barbecues were wafting from all corners.

The parkland next to the harbour extends to an open botanical garden with a large variety of trees and some interesting sculptures. 

The town of Châlons itself is charming and clean.

It's overlooked by the Cathédral St. Étienne, a massive building. Most sculptures of the cathedral were erased during the French revolution. During those times the church was used as a horse stable before being restored to it’s original significance in later years.

The centre of town is sprinkled with quaint half-timber houses which look especially nice being illuminated by the street lanterns at night.

The 12th century church "Nôtre-Dame-en-Vaux” with it's colourful, picture book  like windows is well worth a visit. It is also a station on the well known "Jacob’s Way".

Unfortunately, our friend Eva’s time with us came to an end and we dropped her off at the local train station.

At night the rain returned alleviating Austin’s fear of our way to Toul being cut off by water shortage.

It still rained down heavily until lunchtime the next day. As soon as the downpour stopped we swung ourselves onto our bikes and headed for the big commercial centre at the southern end of town. Due to a big agricultural festival most roads in the area were blocked off for cars, so we had the roads for ourselves.

We soon reached our favourite sports store, Decathlon. Austin had kissed the road with his bicycle a while back causing the front wheel to be warped. He was relieved when the mechanic at Decathlon brought it back into shape for just 9 Euro and he didn’t need a new rim. On our way back it once again poured down heavily, so we arrived at the boat looking like two drowned rats. We cleaned up and to warm ourselves we went to a little restaurant called aptly “The Cauldron Savoyard”. There we ordered a beautiful mushroom cheese fondue accompanied by potatoes and a plate of cold cuts and pickles. I know, very naughty!-But good!

© Austin Robinson 2019