Sunday, June 28, 2015

Canal du Midi, Part Deux, Carcassone

We spent two nights in Carcassone.  So much to see in this lovely town.  The Old Cite is very special.

Espresso break!

Glace (ice cream) break!

Learning about the castle.

Waiting for the bus.

And then there was this.... 
trying to fish out Peter's cell phone.  
It was lost to the depths of Canal du Midi for good...

Our Motley Crew.

Picnic lunch on the boat after shopping at the local farmers market.  Gorgeous vegetables, fruits, cheeses, salami's and bread.  Yum.

Little nap after the picnic.

We went to a medieval play...

... and Daddy got called to participate.  He was a knight; complete with chain mail armor.

The girls LOVED seeing Daddy up there.

After the play they were able to see and hold the old weaponry.  "It's soooo heavy, Mommy!"

Sometimes we had a lot of onlookers going in and out of the locks.

To keep Daddy company while he was working at the captain's wheel.

There were many sweet little villages to wonder in along the canal.

Coloring time!

Peter forgot his hat!

One night the girls slept on deck with Daddy.  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Canal du Midi, beginning

NOTE:  This is an extra long post due to very spotty WiFi during this portion of our trip.  This is the beginning of these 10 days and tomorrow I will try to post the second half.

After a couple of fun days in Paris, we headed for our next chapter.  I love photographing us “in transit.”  The process of getting from Point A to Point B is stressful, stinky and exhausting sandwiched between rushing and being bored.  But when you are with kids you are always on snack patrol… and there are always plenty of snacks!  Stands along the road, kiosks in the train station and dining cars on the train...  beauty.

She's extremely happy about being out on a busy road at 8am trying to hail a taxi cab.

No taxi's to be had, due to rush hour, so we heaved it down into the subway.

This is the third time we are doing a boating trip along a canal.  The first time was in Burgandy, second time south of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and this year in the Camargue region of France.  This area is the southern part of France… but not Provence and not the Riviera.   This year we brought along my parents, because it seemed like something they would particularly enjoy.  Well, and because they are just fun to be with.  Their positive attitude and easy going spirit make everything interesting.

We picked up our boat at NĂ©gra on the Canal du Midi.  A canal created in the 1600s and still functioning today.  During our trip we will go through 66 locks and meet people from all over the world.  Asia, South Africa, the USA, France, German, Scotland, and a LOT of English and Australians… which are always a riot.  We love the camaraderie you develop on these trips.  You often “spend the day” at the locks with the same couple of boats.   

First night on the boat... all tucked in...

Watch your heads!  Going under a bridge.

Breakfast on deck.

Captain MJ.

Our guide book for the trip.

Local wildlife.  Grandpa Jim got nipped by these wild beasts which sent us all running...

And then there was rain.  Blah!

Bring the boat into a lock.  We passed through 66 locks during the entire boat trip.

Grandpa Jim AKA Acting Skipper, as Peter and I rode bikes along the path next to the canal.

Coming out of a lock.

Our boat in a lock with the water starting to go down.  The boat has three bedrooms, living room, three bathrooms and a kitchen.

Driving out of the lock.

More local wild life.  He barely raised his head to look at us.

This night we were able to have the local specialty, Cassoulet, delivered directly to our boat for dinner.

Watch out!!  Branches!!

You always need a little of this ... even when you are visiting an ancient city.

Each lock has a lock house.  Some are beautiful; all are picturesque.

I wonder if there is gluten intolerance in France?

I can't help but chat...

This was a triple lock.  Three right in a row.  We have just come down from one and are driving into the next.

Field of wild orchids next to our docking place for lunch.  All the locks close down between 12:30-1:30pm for lunch.  As does all of France.  The country shuts down for lunch.