Sedan - the town, not the car

My new job description is “wind screen wiper” as our wipers on the boat have packed in. Leaving Mouzon we had our first rainy morning's cruising, and I was ordered by the captain to wipe the screens with my long-handled bathroom squeegee. In the meantime Austin could watch me getting wet while he leisurely twirled the wheel dry and under cover. 

Let that be a lesson to you: us women always do the hard jobs - no difference on a boat!

After a short trip, and thanks to my excellent wind screen wiping, we reached the town of Sedan and as the boat was already wet, we gave it a good scrub and a bit more wiping.

Feeling invigorated by this mornings activities, we marched into town to find the tourist office, which of course- was closed for lunch. What else could we do but find a nice restaurant and have lunch ourselves. We decided on the brasserie “Le Prétexte” and after being tempted by mussels and “frites”, we decided on the menu du jour.

The visit to the tourist office was a little disappointing, as the sole employee didn’t speak any English and we only learned as much as the main brochure would tell us: the most important site is the “biggest castle of France” Le Château Fort de Sedan and everything else is about the town's hero, the famous Marshall Turenne. We decided to leave the castle and M. Turenne  for another day. 

Strolling along we discovered a wonderful photographic exhibition, called “Urbi&Orbi”. Among them gripping photos by Zeng Nian of the destruction of nature and displacement of people during the construction of the Three Gorges Dam in China. 

Beautiful was the exhibit “The Huts of our Grandparents”, photos of people around the world under shelters telling their and their countries' stories. This one was taken in Australia.

Back at the harbour while helping a German couple with the ropes, we learned all about “Anleger”(“Moorings”). As a thank you, we were offered 2 little bottles, they called “Moorings” which is apparently a German tradition. Bring it on! We just didn’t understand why I ended up with a drink called translated ”little coward” (a fig schnapps) and Austin with one called “worrywart” (a herb liqueur)?

The next morning a friendly Dutch boating couple showed us the obscure entrance to the enormous castle fort.

We were astounded by the expanse and contents of the castle areas open to visitors. Next to the main points of interest are short descriptions in English. At the ticket office a free castle guide download for the phone in several languages is also available. So if you go and see the castle, don’t pay extra for the audio guide.

This was a welcome change. We have seen so many beautiful castles and artworks in France where we had to either rely solely on our 10 words of French or our fantasy. 

In the evening Marie and Colin from Perth joined us for drinks on the Freshwater. Lovely people who so far didn’t have the best experience with their poorly equipped hire boat. But they were adventurous enough to have a go, and haven’t lost their Yorkshire sense of humour over it.

© Austin Robinson 2019