26 May 2012

Slow Boat through Bourgogne

Mid-May we embarked on a sublime 3 days aboard a very slow boat through a canal in Bourgogne, France. Maïf and I, along with our beloved neighbors Pascal and Marie and their baby boy, Émile (our "Capitaine"), glided along at mind-bogglingly slow speeds through the canals, past bucolic vineyards and fields full of buttercups, stopping here and there to explore a village or vineyard on foot or on bicycles.

Like all of Locaboat's customers, after a short piloting lesson, we took off on our own, taking turns at the wheel, trying not to bump too hard into the edges of our beautiful universe, especially when negotiating the little locks. First Mate Pascal showed a certain talent for this, under the expert tutelage of our Capitaine.

Along the way we learned local wisdom from interesting locals, like wine merchant and vineyard owner Monsieur Bernard Ponsot in the village of Chagny,

and like the adorable white Charolais cattle prized for their sweet demeanor and delectable meat (you'd have delectable meat too if you lived your life grazing in these beautiful pastures).

We didn't order Charolais beef at Le Vendangerot restaurant; instead, local lamb, fish, shrimp, and a yummy Premier Cru local wine for only €31 (US$39).

Afterwards, we continued the expedition farther into uncharted territories. Who knows if we will ever truly return.


  1. I love Burgundy! What a great way to see it. How did you like Locaboat's service?

  2. Locaboat was excellent -- and I'm not just saying that because my brother-in-law is a manager there. The boats are well-designed, clean, and in excellent repair. And they're surprisingly easy to pilot. Locaboat gives you a thorough introduction to how the boat works, and how to pilot it, then a guy goes out with you while you get your first experience at the wheel. None of the four of us had any experience steering a boat, and yet we all caught on quickly, and enjoyed the challenge a steering through the narrow canals. The galley was well-equipped too with a full stove and oven, and all the pots and pans. It was marvelous to be tooling along the canal while roasting a local chicken in the oven!

  3. Also Kathy, I know you and your favorite fool in Zürich love good food and wine, so let me recommend 3-star Le Vendangerot for superb lunch in a nice room with a good wine list -- all at reasonable prices.

  4. Bill,
    Thanks for the tip on the restaurant.

    We chartered a "Le Boat" boat on the Canal du Midi, and while the trip was unforgettable, the boat is something I would rather forget. Next time, Burgundy and Locaboat!

  5. Thanks for the warning about "Le Boat." Forgot to mention that the restaurant we loved, Vendangerot, is in the village of Rully. Good wine merchants there too!