Verdun, Verdun to St Mihiels

Day two in Verdun started as a day of chores, particularly catching up on lots of laundry to take advantage of the glorious weather.   Then it was off to get to the Info Centre for wifi access to catch up on the Internet side of things and then off to do a little more exploring and shopping.

 

old gate One of the old gates in the walls of Verdun preserved after the walls were pulled down in the 1920s.

DSCF2183 Detail of drawbridges

from the top of the Verdun monument Top of the Verdun monument early morning

monument at the top The monument at the top

We both seem to be settled into holiday mode and are happy to wander and leisurely take our time to explore and generally relax.  Day two ended with dinner on the boat and and off to bed only to be kept awake by some noisy revellers. 

Day three in Verdun (known as Verdunum by the Gauls…….Asterix was here!!) and the four of us set off for the tour underground galleries within the fort, however we had not anticipated that we had to book a specific time for the tour so it was off to do other things until our tour booking at 2pm.  We then went to a shop to check out the sugared almonds and other delectable’s, as Verdun is the origin of these sweets (Braqees).  Had hoped for a tour but found the times clashed with our fort tour.  We also took the opportunity to have a bit of a tidy of all the paperwork and brochures we seem to be collecting.  Ann & Mike, there is a parcel on its way to you containing the said papers, please add to our stash at your place!

By this time the temperature had reached 30.8C in the shade. It was time to head back to the fort for the tour.  The tour was conducted in a small chariot holding the four of us.  It was guided by a rail system and programmed to stop at various points to enable us to view various tableau and models. The tunnels cover over 7kms, however the tour covers just a small section of the tunnel system.  They even had their own bakery producing over 2000 portions of bread every day.  Scenes were depicted onto screens with actors portraying significant events from various episodes in history including a very good explanation of how the unknown soldier was selected from Verdun and later placed to rest under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Very well done and worth every minute.

tableau within tunnels Tableau within the tunnels

Back to the boat and then out to see what else was around.

Landing stage on canal  Landing stage on the canal

signs of ww2Evidence of WW2

multicoloued shutters  Multicoloured shutters

not lens abberation No not lens abberation, just an old building with middle age spread

Verdun gate late at night Verdun gate at night

Came across a small shop where a man was making sugared almonds in various styles.  He offered us samples of a range of his products, standard sugared almonds, chocolate (like a Snifter with a chocolate layer inside the exterior coating), other flavours of layering, also other almonds that were chocolate and cocoa surrounded.  He also produced a range of small crisp biscuits in a range of flavours, lemon, orange, violet, ginger etc. as well they were shaped in animal forms.. needless to say we spent some time and some money in his shop.

Off to bed ready for away in the morning.

 

23 September

We left Verdun by 9am with lock keepers manually having to open the gates for us all along the trip today to St Mihiel. 

autumnal colours Autumnal colours as we leave Verdun

Tractors seem to be everywhere and Mike, they appear along the canals as well!

tractors 1 Tractor crossing canal lock bridge.  Harvest time for maize in this area.

tractors 2 and again

A quiet day cruising along the canal, by now, both Roy and Bernice have become reasonably adept at the rope work involved in the locks with Roy stationed at the stern and Bernice at the bow.  Roger manoeuvres the boat expertly and Ruth manages to loop the ropes onto the land based bollards.  Today we had a lovely lock keeper who followed us along to do the last 4 locks and at the final lock he presented Bernice and Ruth with a lovely rose each!

Into St Mihiel where we wandered the town to see what is around.  Here we found great examples of flower pots, the French seem to have them every where and on every building and lamp post, all potted up beautifully.

window boxes town hall   Window boxes in every window of the town hall

detail window box Detail of a typical window box

 

It was here we also found a lovely greengrocers where the fruits and vegetables are laid out beautifully.

tomatos 1 Tomatoes

tomatos 2 and more

DSCF2252 Radishes

decoration on the market building Decoration of the Market building

And in passing down one of the side streets we saw a familiar figure trying to get away

tintin Tintin and Snowy on the run

Today it reached 27.6C before cooling off in the late evening with a little rain accompanied by lightning. Tomorrow could be cooler and damp. 

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