Monday 24th August we set off in beautiful sunshine and have a long day cruising down the River Saone arriving at Tournus late afternoon. We are too long to moor on the pontoon so find the last space on the quay next to a Linssen owned by Nigel and Jean from England.
We spend three days here shopping, cycling, running and wandering around the little streets. The growth of Tournus can be attributed to the two monasteries which attracted many pilgrims over the years. Like many towns in France; Tournus did not escape being ravaged by others – the monastery was burned down in 937 during a Hungarian invasion, sacked in 1562 by the Huguenots but the inhabitants did chase away the Austrians in 1814. The Romans took advantage of this Gallic city and built a castrum for storing the supplies for their legions.
We move onto Macon and moor in the impressive Port de Plaisance with its very friendly Capitain who speaks a smattering of English. The facilities here are very good but they should be as its a new port and we are happy to leave Bluegum here for the two weeks when we return to the UK.
So on Friday we have an early start with taxis and trains for a long journey back to York in the UK. We are slightly apprehensive as although we have bought our train tickets we don’t actually have them!! – only the Polkeys…… Charles bought the euro star tickets on line and any seasoned traveller will know that you need the credit card to collect the tickets – but Charles credit card was compromised and was cancelled by the bank who issued another one which unfortunately is in England – we actually travel to Paris without tickets which is quite stressful having to try and explain ourselves in French as to our predicament but alls well that ends well and we are given an upgrade by Eurostar for our return journey due to the inconvenience.
The two weeks fly by and both Charles and I are exhausted with all the visiting but it is lovely to see our family and friends. Laura and I enjoy buying the finishing touches for her bridesmaid outfit for Emma and Liddle’s wedding on Thursday 3rd September. I am especially chuffed and feel honoured to see Matthew on two occasions in such a short space of time and we are looking forward to his visit later in the year. We manage to see Laurence and Lisa and catch up on their boating adventures, Alison and her mum Lynn, Karen and Mark, Sue and Chris. We are so happy to join Emma and Liddle in the evening following their wedding to share their celebrations and take the opportunity to indulge ourselves by staying at the Hotel du Vin.
We have a lovely evening with Damien and Sarah and hear all about their wedding plans which we are so looking forward to in March next year – they seem to be very organised. They present us with a belated joint birthday gift of an oil lamp which we are delighted with as it is perfect for our wheelhouse – its going to be interesting getting it back to France!!
We are grateful to Simon, Joanne and Paul and Shirley for putting us up and although we are dashing here and there we manage so spend time with them all. Simon signs me up for the Parkrun which organises a 5 k run around the race course in York which we enjoy on Saturday mornings and then we go for an 18 mile run on the Sunday morning (with Charles accompanying us on Simon’s bicycle) – Simon bounces around like a puppy while I follow at a more steady pace – he wonders why I am not chatty; I’m wondering what I am doing there!! but we complete the run in 3 hrs 15 mins which I am chuffed with and feeling more confident for the marathon which is creeping up on us.
One of the main reasons for our visit is for Charles first check up following his op in January and we are pleased to learn that there is no evidence of the cancer spreading and the consultant is happy about his progress – think he needs to work on his bedside manner though as when he walked into the the consultancy room his demeanour gave us both the impression that he had bad news for us – wonder how he comes across when he does have bad news…………..
Our last visit is with Daniel in London as we start our return journey to France and we enjoy a drink and catch up before he heads home to pack for his holiday in Greece and we find a reasonable little Italian for our last meal in the UK.
Me thinks it was worth complaining about our Eurostar experience as our journey from St Pancreas (as Laura calls it) to Lyon; a five our train trip was so much more comfortably with the bonus of a light breakfast and lunch.