Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th August
Having tied up we made a quick exploratory walk across the town and found the alternative marina. Much better – floating pontoons, with security gate.
Next morning we took Shangri La up through the lock and tunnel under the citadel around to the other mooring. This turned out to be a bit hectic as Karen stayed on shore to help with the ropes which seemed to annoy the lady eclusier who wanted her to climb back down the slippery ladder. Anyway – all was well in the end.
Despite the rather negative start, we enjoyed Besancon and stayed there 3 days. The marina now was much better, but was still managed by the people at the dodgy shallow mooring. Ablutions etc were available and our laundry was actually done for us. As usual, wifi was a problem. The restaurant LePixel, right next to the marina promised free wifi for boaters. With high hopes we went there, got the codes etc but it was completely useless. Fortunately the Tourist Information Office had good wifi.
Besancon is a relatively large town and we found a Monoprix (shop) that stocked soy milk which made us happy.
Fellow South Africans
A surprise – we spotted a boat with a South African flag, which moored up next to us. That evening they visited us for drinks. Not often we encounter South Africans in France who own their boat, as opposed to chartering. So many tales were swapped – and we visited their boat the next evening to continue the stories. We did gather quite a bit of useful info from them as they had travelled up the Rhone from down south. Apparently south of Lyon there are not really that many places to stop, which sort of confirms our intention not to take Shangri La down the Rhone and to the Canal du Midi. After all, we did spend a short time on the Du Midi in a hired boat some years ago.
City walking tour
As usual, there was a self guided walking tour, following the brass plaques. In fact there were 3 tours, so we did a sort of mixed up version as they did cross over each other. The usual lovely old buildings, churches and views across the roof-tops, and even some Roman remains.
Another interesting item from those days was an ancient metal measuring stick, mounted on a wall in the square.
We never did get to go up to the top of the citadel.
Another bonus – there was a fuel station at the marina with reasonably priced diesel, so we did a small top up.
We would have liked to have spent more time here, but this was only a short round trip and we needed to start heading back to St Jean-de-Losne.
Have a look at Karen’s blog here to get her perspective on things.