Ramble II

Last Wednesday we left, with Mary and Gilles, on a ramble toward the south. We really didn’t go too far – our return trip, which was from the farthest point south, took less than two hours to get back to Montigny. But we did lots of enjoyable things and saw many interesting sights. Over the next couple days, I’ll do some posts about this ramble.

Our itinerary:
Wednesday – drove to Briare. Along the way we stopped for an excellent lunch in Irancy, visited a winery, then drove to see an amazing sight for us canal-and-lock lovers: a set of seven locks, all on one unit, that mount a hill in Rogny, which is now know as Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses (Rogny of the Seven Locks). One interesting fact about these locks: construction started in 1605, was completed in 1629, and they were in use for 290 years!

Thursday – went back to Rogny-les-Sept-Êcluses for a walk along the old canal, then to see a famous bridge. The bridge – called the Pont du Canal carries a canal across the Loire River. We did some more searching for a couple old canal locks that we wanted to see, and finished with an excellent dinner in Gien.

Friday – off to wine country! First stop was that small town of Sancerre, in the region that produces the excellent Sancerre white wine. Lunch in a tiny village, a stop at a winery that produces the wine we had at lunch, then off to the city of Bourges.

Saturday – toured Bourges, a fascinating city, with a spectacular gothic cathedral and the private residence of Jacque Couer a 15th century merchant who almost controlled France. Wrapped up with a wonderful dinner.

Sunday – a quick look at a most unusual lock, then another canal bridge across another river and, as the rain started,a drive home.

I’ll try to minimize the wordage about canals and locks; we find them infinitely interesting, but I doubt anyone else does. I’ll try to do a post for each day, probably taking a day for each post, so over the next four or five days I’ll have filled you in on the entire ramble.

First up will be a winery visit and Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses.

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