After my wonderful few days in Paris, I eventually met up with Michael who arrived from Australia late last Friday night. Instead of going into Paris for the night, we chose to stay at an airport hotel, ready for our early departure Saturday morning. We drove for the 3 hours to Bar-le-Duc, where our friend and partner John Hocking waiting for us on the Betty B barge.
After a quick supermarket shop at the Bar-le-Duc Le Clerc, some unpacking and re-organisation, we were ready for the usual pre-dinner Champagne. On our arrival we always eat out. As our favourite place in Bar-Le-Duc, La Meuse Gourmande, was closed, we chose to go to Côté Cépages, a restaurant and wine bar close by the port. We enjoyed the dinner and the wine.
We have now been travelling for a few days, barging quietly along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin; we are now moored at this idyllic mooring at Chalons-en-Champagne, where we will leave the Betty B for a week. We are swapping barges with our friends Tony and Jocelyn Backhouse, the former owners of this Betty B, who are located down in SW France at Moissac. It is a shady, quiet spot with power and water, with the magnificent, enormous, 12th century, Romanesque Saint-Etienne Cathredal, towering over us. This cathedral was dedicated, probably in 4th century, to St. Etienne, considered to be the first Christian martyr!
The weather is a perfect 25C or so, with a blue sky, sunshine and gently breeze. The crew is asleep!
I cooked our tonight’s dinner, lapin au moutarde, yesterday and so it has had 24 hours for the flavours to develop. Lapin is always a favourite on the Betty B and rabbit is at its best in France.