St. Julien



The first locks coming down from the summit build a staircase as lock follows lock in quick succession. There is not much wall above the water level entering the locks so we had to do a quick shuffle to lower our fenders. The drop in each of these automatic locks is more than 5 metres. Much easier tying up and going downhill!

The plan was to stop at lock No. 6 and visit the local Canal Museum to overcoming my museums-frust of missing out on the mining museum in Blanzy.

But we just don't learn! The door on our arrival at 11am being wide open and the sign saying open 7 days, doesn't actually mean "open" here. The very nice guide, whom we eventually found walking through the place, told us that the museum only opens at 2pm for visitors.

We decided to continue on to the mooring at St. Julien and then cycled back to the museum after lunch. 


The exhibits were partly kept in the old lock house  and partly in a barge called "Armançon". A film shows how this commercial barge was shifted from the iced over canal to its current position on land. It took 2 huge cranes to lift the 72 tonnes and 38 metres long barge onto a truck, drive it carefully across the road and then lift it again to the other side of the old canal arm where its standing today.

Being inside the massive hull and looking into the living quarters we got an idea of what life would have been like for the family of a commercial barge worker.

Just as we were leaving the museum, we saw a boat being moored.

It was the Ápero with Dieter and Margrit from Bonn, both looking great with new haircuts. We hadn't seen them since Briare and it was nice to catch up.

In the evening Austin and I went for one of our "work off the fromage/discovery walks". We found overgrown bits of walls of three old locks in the thicket - not much to look at! A little further while passing a paddock we saw that one of the cows was laying in the grass. Austin got quite concerned about its well-being, believing that cows don't really lay down but sleep standing up. So he waded through knee-high nettles to get a closer look. I heard him mooing at the cow to see if she would get up. In the end being stopped by a creek and a fence he had to give up.

Well, I believe, the cow had a good sleep - not so Austin, whose legs were tingling from the stinging nettles all night.



This morning, leaving St. Julien, we passed more paddocks and quite a few cows lazily laying in the grass. We definitely need to get more in touch with country life!

We travelled in twosome with the Apéro through the next seven locks and had some friendly chats with Dieter and Margrit until we stopped at
St. Léger-sur-Dheune.

© Austin Robinson 2019