Only 20km and 5 locks from Commercy we grabbed the last mooring spot at St. Mihiel. We are now on a wider and less canalised part of the Meuse with a little more current than before. The river is bordered by beautiful forest on one and rural areas on the other side.

The small town of Saint-Mihiel is in dire need of a make-over. Many of it’s magnificent old mansions are crumbling and dirty-grey with their ornate wrought iron balconies rusting away. Local artists try to brighten up abandonned shopfronts with colourful scenes of the Lorraine. 

And still, there are treasures to be found: In the town’s central abbey or “palace”, as the locals call it, the Museum Of Sacred Art has an astounding collection of the finest goldsmiths works. The beautiful Église Saint-Étienne houses the amazing 16th century sepulchre by local sculptor, Ligier Richier.

On our walks through the town we found the steep Capuchin path leading to grassy hills overlooking the canal valley. At the northern entrance 6 big limestone rocks guard the town. If you look closely at the picture you can see Austin showing of his mountain goat like agility. I am standing below ready to catch him.

Only the  first rock,containing yet another sepulchre is reachable by stairs.

Otherwise we are getting way too comfortable in our floating home. The new cushion covers are more “us” and we have 2 big, new shade cloths to keep us cool while stationary. We also got gas struts fitted to our wooden hatch (like the hinges on a car boot), so with a gentle push upwards the hatch stays in place - no more manual labour to tighten the lid into place, and no more brain damage, when due to insufficient tightening the lid bangs down onto our already shrinking cerebrum. 

Even our Television is working now perfectly and for the first time in 10 weeks we watched the BBC News tonight. An uneasy Cameron sitting next to an equally uneasy Angela Merkel at the G8.

© Austin Robinson 2019