Tannay canal boat cruise with the kids in France


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Europe » France » Burgundy » Dijon
July 30th 2017
Published: August 5th 2017
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Spare of the moment canal boat cruise. My uncle and aunty from Australia were visiting and mentioned how fabulous their trip had been. We had a look and Le boat had a boat available from Tannay, 4 hours 40mins drive from Geneva. Tannay is near Dijon and we decided we would jump at it.

The boat was comfortable, a 2 star so I'm told. 3 cabins with 2 beds in each, a large living space and smallish kitchen and 3 bathrooms. It is advertised as a 'no experience' necessary, and seeing as Murray has a lot of boating experience we thought we would be able to manage. Thankfully I didn't think about the trip too much, if I had I would have realised with Murray driving it meant I was walking around the boat and dealing with ropes etc through locks and also during mooring. Hmmm. Luckily it worked out, we had a fabulous trip, completely recommend it and are looking forward to a trip next summer for sure.

We started at Tannay in the afternoon, there was a car park at the base. Murray had a 'test' run, get out of the dock, do through a narrow/low bridge, then do a U turn, back through the bridge and back into the docking space between 2 boats. All this while the guy from the company is on board, nervous!! He did great and we were waved off. Many narrow/low bridges, locks and a lift bridge later we made it to Villiers for the night. We moored up at the space available, had dinner and then went for a walk exploring the village and walking along the canal. It was very peaceful and lovely and we loved it.

The next day we made it to Clamecy, a much bigger town. We had a walk around and visited a few churches. Not much was open, as Sunday/Monday most things are closed in France. We then went through the swing bridge and lock into the river. This was a bit scary as all of a sudden we were just in a river, and not a carefully dug out canal. We managed and got back onto the canal soon enough and went up to another place for the night. This place wasn't as great, more people, by a busy road and a lock. Locks are only open from 9am-12noon, 1pm-7pm, so we decided having to get back to Tannay base we wouldn't risk going through another lock. As we walked around the very empty town and finally managed to find a supermarket open to get some drinking water. Much to our surprise there was some freshly baked bread (at 6pm!), yummy cheese and dried sausages on sale as well, bonus!! In France things are often closed on Sunday and Monday, which makes being a tourist that much more annoying on those days in particular.

We had had relatively good weather, but knew there was a storm coming. I woke up to thunder, lightening, the boat swaying and something being thrown from side to side upstairs. A swift push to Murray and he was up there in his pjs in the rain, sorting out the table and chairs. Luckily we didn't loose anything and the boat held fast. Amazingly the kids slept through it all. We then spent the day getting back to near our Tannay base so we could be there in time for our drop off time the next day. We moored on the side of the canal near a bridge in the middle of nowhere. It was fabulous, peaceful and beautiful! We enjoyed our night time walks along the canal, and once we started spotting these strange reddish, brownish slugs, there were no more 'I'm tired' conversations from the kids.

The kids absolutely loved the trip. We couldn't get over how well it went, inspite of the weather. The kids all pitched in, helping with the locks and ropes.

Murray is now off on some more work trips, first Uganda and then Stolkholm. The kids and I will stay put in Geneva and continue exploring the hidden beaches of Lac leman.


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