Monday, 10 June 2013

Deux Detour - Dole & Soing

I think that just about every boater we have met in France has told us how wonderful Dole is and that we Must Visit. Without Fail!
We had been in Verdun-sur-le-Doub; however, with the huge amount of flooding in Germany and the Czech Republic, some of the flood water from Besancon, upriver was being release along the Doub, meaning there was a very fierce current and the water level was rising very quickly - over a metre in eight hours. More like Verdun-sous-le-Doub (not my joke, sadly - thank you, Tracey Morgan, our most remote reader, in East Timor)
The force of the current meant I had a very unrestful night as the boat was swung about on the pontoon, so I was very glad to move on the next day to St Jean-de-Losne, where, at last, the sun came out!
St-Jean-de-Losne is a nice town with two large marinas a good chandlery plus commercial boats on the river itself.
The Saone at St-Jean-de-Losne
Also, according to my Dad (the fount of all knowledge, do not take on his team in a pub quiz) it was, when the canals were busy with commercial traffic, a major town for the peniches (commercial boats) to take on contracts for the forthcoming year.
However, we aren't hanging around, having had to wait around for a month due to the canal bursting its bank, so we took the advice of other boaters and detoured to to Dole.
It's a beautiful trip along the Canal du Rhone au Rhin, except for one bit. All of a sudden we can to a lot of signs warning us not to stop or moor in the "area of technological risk" informing us that we where "under CCTV surveillance". Eh? We count ourselves lucky when we can get WiFi on the canal; generally it's not a highly technological area. Anyway, on we went and this is what we saw:

Only it was HUGE! About a mile long, we think. No signs, no business names, no hoardings and no people (but there were cars and trains, so I guess they were in there somewhere). We think it was a chemical/petrochemical plant. But oddly, we've sailed by at least two nuclear power plants, and they didn't have any of the same warnings. Weird.
Anyway. Dole. Wow! Stephen has admitted that he was a bit reluctant to go as everyone said how wonderful it was and therefore it might turn out to be a bit "meh". But it's not, it's great. In the same way that in Brugge there is a photograph to be taken at every step, that's how it is in Dole, but it has the French shabby-chic thing going on.

Stephen was able to add to his photographic collection of wonderfully aged and textured doors


 And Emma got an ice-cream (handmade, vanilla - wonderful, I had to have one too) which made her day - it we moor somewhere with ice-cream, a playground and a café, then she's happy - Dole has all of these thing.
Do go if you get a chance, it's a beautiful town. Also, as you cannot fail to notice from all the road names/statues/museums/etc, it was the birthplace of Louis Pasteur. Now, being a lover of milk in my tea, I am appreciative of his discovery as the next woman, but the sheer amount of road names/statues/museums/etc in his honour does make me think that maybe they are milking it a bit (yes, that one is my own joke - Stephen groaned, but admitted he wished he'd thought of it first).

Next detour: Soing.

Not a huge detour, just 15 minutes along the "proper" course of the River Saone, as opposed to taking the "derivation", which is what it is called when a canalised bit is added to bypass a particularly twisty bit of river.

Soing (I don't know how to pronounce it, I am saying it to rhyme with boing, as in a bouncy ball) is a delight. A great mooring (water, electricity, next to a playground, honesty box with a suggested minimum donation of just 2 Euro) in a lovely village.

It's a proper working village; Stephen described it as "honest" and I think that's right. Great buildings, not chocolate box-y, some renovated, lots not renovated, chickens, ducks, sheep and friendly people.

And, for some reason we couldn't fathom, a giant public bath (didn't seem to be in regular use any longer, at least, not on Sundays) and miniature, yellow, Eiffel Tower.


It was a totally delight. I'd happily have stayed a few days, but we have places to be (Nancy, maybe Strasbourg)

No comments:

Post a Comment