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Old 10-09-2016, 03:14 PM   #181
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The banks of the Rhone are interspersed with garrique and where the soil can carry them, vines. Some slopes are fully covered in vineyards and have large signs proclaiming the Domaine.
It's not all wine though, if you have a sweet tooth, the town of Montelimar is famous for it's Nougat.
Were really beginning to get the 'Mediterranean' feel now with the honey coloured stone houses, red pantiled roofs, clear blue skies and gentle warm winds.
Some people don't like pictures of locks,, the 23 metre deep one at Bollene was the deepest in the world when it was built, using it takes a mere 15 minutes.


This is the region of the Popes.
Pope Clement the 5th was a Frenchman and refused to go to Rome so the papacy moved to Avignon in 1305.
As the Vatican had the money it bought many premises in the region around Avignon and Jacques Dueze better known as Pope John the 12th, successor to Pope Clement had a fortress built that overlooks Chatenuef du Pape (New chateau of the Pope). Better known in modern times by the wine called Chatenuef du Pape and a beautifully consistent wine it is, perfect when served at 17/18 degrees Celsius with a juicy steak.
After 6 successive French Popes the papacy returned to Rome in 1377.
Whilst the Papacy was in France it was harassed by a brigand named Duguesclin and his mercenaries' who demanded money to leave them in peace, the papacy regularly paid protection money to the mercenaries' who were known a Les Routiers, or the Highwaymen.


Truckers in France today are known as Les Routiers and their rest stops are a great place to eat simple, hearty locally sourced food typical of the region, the dish of the day, 'plat du jour' is very good value for money.


A typical evening meal in one would be a buffet of up to 20 choices of starter (entre), a choice of 3 main dishes (plat du Jour) a choice of 3 desserts, a pichet or two of local wine and followed by an expresso coffee for around 14 Euro's.

Photo's.
1, Fortified church.


2, Vines among the garrique.


3, Domaine advertising.


4,The large office building belongs to the Compagnie Navigation du Rhone.


5, Nuclear power station. plenty of cooling water from the Rhone.


6, more vineyard publicity.


7, Table grapes are covered for protection.


8, Various types of lavender and other plants for oil extract for use in perfumes.


9, A floating disgrace.


10, An English narrow boat looks very out of place in this climate..
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:07 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by Irish Rambler View Post
Mes Ami, I still wouldn't like to knowingly cause even 50% of upset anyone, desolee.
I'm just here for a happy life not a long and grumpy one.
The French are too much chauvinist but the social-chauvinism of our country was marked by the weight of history, a rocky history of internal or external conflicts, lack of understanding and stability, a history which had to pay a heavy price for liberty and democracy, a very troubled, even tragic, history.

As you already know when you visit France, history significance is never far. It's is the richness and diversity of our cultural inheritance, one of the great strengths of France, also one of our greatest vulnerabilities. The issue we encountered here was probably just a 'lovers' quarrel', I mean a tiff to which two people in love with France alone hold the keys. But whatever, I apologize.

Now back to the thread. I learn so much from your very interesting stories and stunning pictures in which I gladly travel and rediscover regions of my country.
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Old 10-09-2016, 05:19 PM   #183
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So, all is well, then. Nice one IR. Loving your pics by the way. But it behoves us all to resist generalisations about people and places, does it not?

Your pharmacy looks very nice Pilou. We are all sitting back now waiting to see your photos from when you go through the Caledonian and Lock Ness, etc. Which I think is happening very soon..? Very envious, we are...
Merci Pierre. I do love Scotland and Ireland, beautiful countries where the wilderness character of lands is an essential element of the culture, where people feel strongly about their customs, where tradition of welcome and hospitality is legendary. A out-of country trip is only as nice as the local people we meet.
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Old 10-09-2016, 06:25 PM   #184
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Pilou, at Loch Ness avoid the much advertised show of historical items plus film. WOFTAM imo. I won`t fully explain the acronym for fear of bothering the TF cuss filter, but the show is a waste of time and money.
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Old 10-10-2016, 10:17 AM   #185
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Pilou,
You like pictures along w many on this thread. Mark's seen it all .. he was there on one of my threads where I posted 144 pics taken on a trip mostly in BC Canada. It's kind of a log book w pictures.
IR has created a wonderful thread here. I love this area and would love to go there. Now more so because of these great pics.
To get to the thread go to page 8 on Voyagers and other boaters on the go. You can pick it up quickly by looking at the # of replies ... 208. My username then was Manyboats.
Thank you Eric for your post & your nice Personal Message.
PM sent back.

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Old 10-10-2016, 03:17 PM   #186
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Nice one Bruce, you are spot on, I should learn to speak in acronyms.
Je pense Pilou un boteille de Chatanuef du Pape avec amis, parfait pour tout amis.

I spoke of the Papacy being in Avignon, far be it from me to give anyone a boring old a history lesson but I can give you the photo's.

1, The bridge in Avignon wasn't blown up in some dastardly deed.
Before the Rhone was tamed, the portion of the bridge on the outside bend was swept away in a particularly strong spring flood.

2,3,4. Fortifications surrounding the Papal palace.

5, Fortified gateway, beneath the row of arches at the top of the gateway are slots to pour boiling oil onto any attackers. The gateway is around 10 feet thick and a portcullis was hidden in a recess above the doorway as well as the doors being around 2 feet thick.

6, Some brilliant masonry sculptures.


7, Little narrow streets give shade and funnel the wind in the summer.

8 & 10. just feel the atmosphere.


9, Even the Popes loved a wee sup, where do you think the communion wine came from ?
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Old 10-10-2016, 03:35 PM   #187
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I hope I'm not boring you with photo's (actually I'm trying to get a start in the French Tourist Board).

Avignon.


1, Rest your feet with a coffee in a shaded square.

2, As good as it looks and I've got the waistline to prove it.

3,Lavish interior.

4, Those darned Masons were kept busy..

5, Solid foundations.

6, Classy.

7,Entrance to the Popes palace.

8,Local artiste's, local scenes.

9, Remains from the 1st century.

10, Watch your toes !
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:27 PM   #188
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To help with those unfamiliar with France's geography I've attached is a map to show our route so far.

Is there much to see after the grandeur of Avignon, You Betcha !

1, The broken end of the Pont d' Avignon as we cruised past.

2, Avignon depends on tourism for it's income and these hotel barges bring a steady stream of visitors.

3,A medieval Castle nestled among the garrique.

4, This low profile ship registered in Malta (for preferential tax treatment)is called in English 'The Wasp'.

5, Another strongpoint for the crusaders.

6, Pretty church spire.

7, Time for some R&R Mediterranean style.

8,We're now in the Rhone delta and the alluvial plain here is collectively known as 'The Camargue' , just one of the things it's famous for is 'The Wild Horses Of The Camargue'.

9, The Rhone a Sete canal has recently been upgraded to take the Europe gauge 'Grand Gabarit' barges up to 3,000 tonnes.

10, Wild Horses.
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:42 PM   #189
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I hop I'm not boring you with photo's (actually I'm trying to get a start in the French Tourist Board).
!
'Boring us with photos', Are you kidding ? Your photos are a lot nicer than educational geography books. You do such an impressive job.
Ha ! Le Chateauneuf du Pape, a bottle which shows the 2 keys of Palais des Papes, perfect to get-together with friends.
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Old 10-10-2016, 04:48 PM   #190
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The Rhone in it's delta divides like all other great rivers, there's the Rhone itself and the P'tit (little) Rhone, which branches off to the right, it's suitable to the Grand Gabarit Europe large gauge) dimensions as far as the lock at St Gilles where it enters into the Rhone a Sete canal, this canal has also recently been upgraded to the European large gauge as far as Sete.
Lower down towards the sea it's blocked by a low bridge of only 1.8 metres air draught (Tirant d Air).
Just a short way into the Rhone a Sete canal there's a branch to the left leading to Aigues Mortes (dead water or inlet), arguably the prettiest town in the whole of France, in my eyes anyway.
It was to here that the Knights Templar came to embark on the crusades and so it is to here that I come to the church of the Knights Templar to humbly pay my thanks on bended knee to God for the safety of our journey.

Photo's.

1, Canal Rhone a Sete.

2, Don't know what this guy was smoking when he painted his boat ?

3,Approaches to Aigues Mortes.

4, All the visitors weren't as friendly as us !

5,Wonderful French markets.

6,Formidable entrance.

7.Interior battlements.

8, This is a shop full of biscuits, bang ! there's goes the diet !

9.Have you ever seen a shop dedicated to salt ?
It's been produced in this region since Roman times.
Men were often paid with salt, giving rise to the expression 'He's not worth his salt' meaning a poor worker.
In the desert the body sweats profusely and the body salt must be replaced, the camel trains from the North African brought goods to the Mediterranean ports to be sold, in turn they bought salt to be transported back to the interior.

10, Here is a wine tasting (degustation) of the various wines grown in this region, it's sandy, loamy soil gives a unique taste to the wines and some of the sweeter Muscat dessert wines are grown here.
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Old 10-10-2016, 05:23 PM   #191
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Pilou,
I was just testing you with the Chatenuef du Pape's to see if you knew your wine.
Tres bien moi mes ami, a la tien.
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:55 PM   #192
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Pilou,
I was just testing you with the Chatenuef du Pape's to see if you knew your wine.
Tres bien moi mes ami, a la tien.
About the Chateauneuf du Pape did you mean testing or tasting ?
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:16 AM   #193
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Just checking to see if you knew your wine labels.
I'd be happy to share a bottle it's a very nice wine.
One of the beauty's of this journey is that you can taste regional wines as we pass through.
Some young local table wines (vin de table) are sold in a pichet,(peeshay) a small glass jug around 2 euro a litre and perfect (and chosen for) the 'dish of the day' this wine may never leave the region which why we draw attention so that any visitors may also be aware of the practice. You don't have to pay silly money for a bottle, restaurants will charge about 15 Euro for a 2.50 bottle of wine, a pichet is just a couple of Euro for half a litre and you also have a more enjoyable experience.

On a different note.
A few posts back I showed a photo of our boats moored to a bankside.
To secure the boats to the bank we use three quarter inch Rebar (3/4 " Reinforcing threaded steel bar).
This Rebar is used in the construction industry for securing shuttering for concrete walls.
For those not familiar with the process, long lengths of this Rebar are passed across a void that's to be filled with concrete, sheets of plywood are used to form the mould for walls, the Rebar is passed through a hole drilled in the plywood and secured on the outside of the mould with a large 3/4 inch plate, a wingnut/butterfly nut is then screwed onto the coarse thread and up tight against the plywood to stop it from bulging out when the semi liquid concrete is poured in.

If this 3/4" Rebar is cut into 2 foot lengths and one end ground to a rough point it can be easily hammered into the canal bank to make a mooring spike.
The rope is passed around the mooring spike and secured back to the boat, the large 3/4 " plate is slipped down the mooring spike and keeps the mooring rope at ground level, the wingnut/butterfly nut is then screwed down the bar to ground level.
From personal experience the advantages of this method are, it grips the ground well, is nearly impossible to pull out and the rope's held at ground level and can't be pulled up off the spike.
To remove the Rebar mooring spike, you will be unable to pull it out so you simply unscrew it from the canal bank, you may need a vice grip or stillson wrench but with use over time, the head burrs over and you simply use the wing nut/butterfly nut to unscrew it from the ground.

Cost ? you can probably pick pieces up from a building site for the price off a couple of beers to a building worker.

I hope my explanation is clear enough.
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:05 AM   #194
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It is such a minor issue, but I have frequent irritation of a memory caused by a Parisian waiter questioning our choice of a white wine rather than red when wine-dictatorship called for red to match the meat. We insisted on the white, and enjoyed the meal, regardless.
2 years ago in Edmonton AB I had an evening meal in a famous restaurant I saw someone eating at the next table who put 5 ice cubes in his glass of 20 years old cognac, then anything can be done, I did not see everything yet.

Was your wine sweet, bold, semi-dry, light, etc.? Was your meat heavy, lemony, creamy, sharp, hearty? Always curious to know more about wines, I often follow the recommendations of wine waiter, usually a trained wine expert, who orders and maintains the wines sold in the restaurant and usually has extensive knowledge about wine and food pairings. I am not sure this can be called "wine-dictatorship".

Moreover it's not always a matter of taste. Science explains why red wine with red meat, white wine with fish.

Steak goes with red wine because molecules called tannins soften the fat in the meat to release its flavour. This fat then mellow the wine’s astringency, releasing more of its fruit flavors.

Meat is rich in polyunsaturated fat and cholesterol. Antioxidants in the red wine known as polyphenols stop these compounds from being absorbed in the gut and so they did not get into the blood stream. Drinking a glass of red wine while eating red meat can counteract the build up of cholesterol following a meal. Then red wines are well-suited due to their higher tannin levels, polyphenols and the red wine health super star resveratrol. Eating vegetables like potatoes (no French fries) with red meat may help reduce the harmful by-products produced during digestion.

By comparison, white wine is more acidic and reduces seafood’s ‘fishy’ smell. Most of this smell of seafood is caused by low-molecular-weight amines. Equally, red wine doesn’t go well with fish because the tannins can overpower the more delicate flavors of the fish.

But those are just general rules. The same fish prepared differently could go with either red or white — it all depends on how they cook it and what texture it obtains. A heartier fish cooked in the oven, like a roasted salmon, could work well with a red. A silky salmon that was poached in olive oil, on the other hand, would work better with white.

It’s simply a matter of enjoying what’s in front of me and picking a wine I’ll like, this is where the wine waiter has to step in. I’ve had some magical food and wine pairings, like a lovely (white) Sauternes with foie gras.

A meal out with friends, family, or colleagues should be enjoyable, not stress-inducing. Let’s drink to that.
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:48 AM   #195
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IR,
How deep are those canals? And more importantly how is depth maintained right up to the green grass bank? It would seem to me the wakes of passing boats would errode the banks and fill the canal at the edges.
Bulkheads of some kind would seem necessary to hold up the banks but I see no evidence of bulkheads made of anything yet the boats have plenty of water to get snug up to the bank. Seems a bit like magic.
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:07 PM   #196
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Hi Nomad Willy,
Most canals are actually a 'U' shape when they're drained, for this reason a twin screw boat needs careful handling. a single screw usually has no problem approaching and tying to a bank.
Depth varies, the large scale 'Grand Gabarit' are dredged to 3 to 3.5 metres in the centre of the channel and channels are well marked.
Smaller canals like the canal du Est, du Midi, Lateral a Garonne, Briare, Marne au Rhin have a minimum of draft 1.5 metres.
If you Google VNF.fr (Voie Navigable du France) you can download maps which give minimum depths (Tirant L'Eau ) & bridge clearance heights ( Tirant L'Air).
I hope this answers your query successfully.
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:15 PM   #197
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As I mentioned this Aigues Mortes is where the Knights Templar departed to the Holy Land to put down the Muslim threat to Christianity.

Photo's

1, Narrow streets are cool in summer.

2, On guard.

3, Sword and shield,

4, This knight stands guard in a sweet shop.

5, All kinds of Nougat, delicious but deadly on the waistline.

6, St Louis embarked with the crusaders.

7, A plaque depicting embarquement.

8,Statue to St Louis stands in the square in Aigues Mortes.

9, Cold steel.

10, Another Knight guarding the sweets, from me !
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Old 10-11-2016, 03:28 PM   #198
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A little bit more medieval sightseeing.

Photo's.

1, Lookout !

2,Firing slit in the castle wall.

3, Ooops, access steps to the firing parapet.

4, Ready for war.

5, Castle gate housing the portcullis, doors and firing slits.

6, Ooops again, firing slits from the outside.

7, Everyone tries to keep things neat and tidy for the benefit of everyone but you always get one that spoils it for everyone.
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:05 PM   #199
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IR,
Don't care about the neat and tidy but why does the boat look 85% sunk?

Re the canals I was mostly interested in how the draft is maintained right by the bank.
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Old 10-12-2016, 05:11 AM   #200
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Very nice to see Aigues-Mortes, my grand parents had a summer home in Le Grau du Roi and I have spent numerous summer school vacations in that area Aigues-Mortes & Le Grau du Roi.

"Grau" = "Estuary" in Provencal dialect
"du Roi" = "of the King"

So called "Grau du Roi" - Estuary of the King - since King Louis embarked in Aigues-Mortes along the canal to the open sea in Grau du Roi (5 km from Aigues-Mortes).

Many years ago, I found a vintage postcard of the canal in Le Grau du Roi, the photo was taken in the 1960', it shows my parents' boat (red frame) going to the open sea. The boat was a Bell Boy Bonanza, built in Bellingham WA, with an Evinrude 75 HP.

Second photo is my grand father at the helm of his boat (the very first "Lutin") in the canal with my grand mother and grand aunt, taken in 1955, I was not yet born then. I gave the name "Lutin" to each of my boats in memory of my grand father.

My grand parents are still in Le Grau du Roi where they're buried.
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