After 6 days we finally left the free mooring in Verdun and headed north along the Meuse. As a matter of fact, up to now all the moorings have been free of charge. But due to the crew's requirements for nutritional food and fluids (we don’t want to get beriberi or dehydration!,) the towns are still making money on us.

On this stretch the Meuse flows swiftly occasional widening as old river arms join the canalised parts. Every 10 kms there is a small village with a good mooring place. They rarely provide services but are nice places to stay at. 

While travelling along we gorged ourselves on the last kilo of juicy cherries - sadly the cherry season will soon be over.

Before continuing on to the village of Dun-sur-Meuse we had to stop off at Consenvoye for lunch and to fit in our customary afternoon nap.

From there the locks changed from manually operated to push button triggered automatic locks again. I just love being in control and pushing the button! 

According to our VNF book these locks should operate until 7pm, but when we approached the lock to enter the Halte Fluvial (mooring) of Dun-sur-Meuse, everything was shut off and it was only 6.10pm! So we had no choice and moored on the bank just where we were. Apparently the locks in this section close at 6pm!?? It turned out to be a very peaceful overnight stop.

As we continued our trip the next morning we saw only Dutch boats coming towards us, mostly travelling in twos. The Dutch, we noted, are very well organised, starting off as soon as the locks open in the morning, and occupying the best moorings by early afternoon. Even the Campervan bays along the river are mainly occupied by Dutch people. We wonder if there will be any Dutch people left in Holland by the time we get there?

Our next stop was Mouzon and this time we were just able to secure the last mooring at the marina. Shortly after us another Dutch boat arrived and as there were no spaces left we waved them over and told them they could tie up onto the Freshwater. 

We realised again how small the world is, when our new neighbours told us that they were living in my hometown of Remscheid. Glass of wine in hand we had a nice chat with Juliane, born and bred in Remscheid, and her dutch husband, Jaap.

The marina turned out to be a very popular stop with a constant coming and going, and understandably so. It's quiet yet central and has all services, showers and washing machine included for an 8 euro mooring fee. An extra bonus is the good and free internet connection.

We also loved exploring the old town which is built around the grand abbey and abbey church. There are old limestone cottages and painted houses, some dating from the spanish occupation in 17th century, and colourful flower boxes everywhere. 


The felt museum, Musée du Feutre, housed in the west wing of the abbey, is very worth while seeing. A film shows  felt carpets being made in Anatolia, Turkey, all by hand and astounding techniques. The exhibit includes some beautiful contemporary felt art, even a living room made solely out of felt. We seldom “felt” so inspired!

Nobody in town seems to have noticed or could explain to me why the tower on the Town Hall is leaning to one side. Or is it me???

© Austin Robinson 2019