Getting to Auxerre

I woke up at 6:30 which meant a good long sleep for me.

Once Dave and I were ready we headed up Rue de Gué to buy croissants at Boulanger Aux Mains Couler de Blé. This award winning bakery is amazing and we ended up buying two baguettes, one la multigraines and the other la moulée. We also bought 2 pain au chocolat to eat after our scrambled eggs and croissants.

Once we had all eaten we walked to the barrage to see the fish ladder and then headed back to the bakery to buy pastries for dessert.

We also bought a few things at the grocery store there but it’s not great. We left Gurgy at 11:00 and got to the lock at Monéteau which was closed. This one has a lock keeper and a floating platform and as we got through we could see the bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel.

I had read about the chimes of Colbert Castle and deciding we only had 10 minutes to wait for 12:00 we would stay to listen to them. However, all we heard were the chimes from the Church.

We were not in a rush in any case as the locks were closed for lunch. We tied up close to the next one and enjoyed our lunch. We had to wait for 2 barges coming down and I think the lock keeper was new to the job. He had on a life jacket and was very clear in telling us what to do. He was responsible for the next lock and as we arrived we saw a fire truck with crew practicing to use the hoses. It is quite a sight.

The 4th lock was also closed when we arrived and as we got through you could get the first glimpse of Auxerre.

After the 5th lock we tied up on the right bank which is ideal. We arrived at 15:10 and across from us is Esplanade Suzanne Lacore.

Dave and I walked over the pedestrian bridge to the Aquarelle office and the manager who is British helped us with a map and where to find the best bakery in France. Mooring cost is €18 and electricity is €5.40 for 16 hours. There is also a city tax to pay of 20c per person.

When we got back Bev and I went for a walk through a very quiet town centre.

We had tea at Chez Sido and walked around Cathedral Saint-Etienne which has the most amazing stained glass windows and interesting gargoyles.

Thankfully we found one small grocery store open so we could get a few basics. Easter Monday meant stores were closed in the historic part of town, including Monoprix.

We were back at the barge at 18:00 and Dave prepared the white asparagus for snacks. We enjoyed those with drinks Al fresco and watched 2 young gentlemen play boules.

They invited Eric and Dave to join in and they had great fun. Eric is amazing at getting the ball right next to the jack but Dave’s team won by one point. After they were finished we had supper and dessert and fresh strawberries with cream.

It is amazingly quiet in the barge and the people enjoying drinks outside at the restaurant on the square were not rowdy at all. We headed to bed after dinner, again just after 22:30. I walked 13446 steps covering 7.01km.

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