On the Saone – Chalon to Macon and back.
Saturday 1 to Tuesday 18 July – Part 3
My memories of Macon are somewhat mixed. I was somewhat prepared having read up in the waterway guide that the marina was not that close to the town, and that the town moorings were limited and could be noisy in the evenings. And the weather was stinking hot when we were there.
This time the guide was quite accurate.
On the good side, the marina (Port de Plaisance) itself was excellent. Lovely facilities, washing machines and dryers, and free bike loan! But as they said it was about 4 kms north of the town itself. The trip down from Tournus was only three hours so we arrived just after lunch. That afternoon I availed myself of the free bike and rode into town to see. Macon is a relatively big town. It had also suffered quite a bit of damage in the wars, so although there were the usual lovely old buildings, there were a lot of more modern buildings.
We stayed in Macon a few days. The main reason being that Karen’s Mom was flying back to UK from Lyon, and it was an easy train trip from Macon to Lyon. I saw what the guide meant about the town mooring jetty – right next to loads of bars and restaurants. No services or amenities whatsoever, although you could stay there free for a max of three nights. And, it could only accomodate about 4 to 6 boats. At the time there was still space.
So next morning early we motored down the in Shangri La and tied up. From there it was an easy few steps into town. As usual we visited the tourist info. Very helpful. There was the usual French town self guided walking tour, but it was far too hot for that. We just wandered around the town, looked at the shops and old buildings and checked out the train station and train times for the trip to Lyon, and bought the tickets.
The Eglise Saint Pierre was definitely striking! Then there was trying to have a meal. Mmmm…. Definitely no vegan/vegetarian restaurants. So we opted for a sort of vegetarian option at one of the restaurants near the jetty. Reasonably priced… but complete let down. Fatty junk food. Most disappointing.
We had a spare day before Karen’s mom had to go to the airport, so we just lazed at the marina, and caught up on washing and a few other chores. As mentioned, it was very hot so we bought a couple more light tarps to make sunshades. These all proved invaluable over the next few weeks.
One thing we have found is that it is not quick and easy to get to some of these marinas in France. The trip to get Karen’s mom to Lyon St Exubery Airport, and us back to the boat was a whole day mission. Taxi to the Macon station (gare). Bout an hour train journey to Lyon. Then a 30 tram ride on the Rhine Express to the airport. And then the return trip for us. We got back to the boat about 18.00.
Next day, we headed back up the Saone.
Next – Pont de Vaux