Yvoir - Waulsort

After a six-night stay we left (l’Île d')Yvoir on Tuesday the 24th of May 2016 at 10:46AM, our destination being Dinant. We ascended two locks, Houx and Dinant – each lifting us around 2 meters (almost 7 feet). It was near lock ‘Houx’, next to a town named Anhée, that we again were forced to stop last year – see the next-to-last picture of Week 34 in 2015. This time our engine is its old reliable self again! We were planning to moor downstream of the bridge at the left bank (the right hand side on the picture, we’re cruising upstream) and expected no problems. It’s a short stretch and seen from a distance there did not seem to be any room…

When arriving next to the moorings there were three boats – the one in the middle not very economically positioned. That tends to provoke some irritation but, having said that, it might be the case that a seemingly anti-social moored boat was initially in a ‘social’ position and made looking bad by later arriving neighbours. Anyway, we were able to moor temporarily using a spot designated for a tourist-boat we had seen cruising in the opposite direction when entering the last lock. That tourist-boat is visible here close to the bridge. The two of us untied the uneconomically moored boat and replaced it, creating a space just long enough for our little ship. We need a minimum of 25 normal steps, each approximately 75 centimeters. It was all done in a hurry -the tourist-boat could return any minute- so we sprinted back to our own ship, untied her, cruised back in reverse and were able to moor at the anticipated spot at 1:09PM. The cruiser in front of us left the next day and we moved forward towards the position that is shown by this picture.

The following days most of the time there was only us and, downstream at the far end, another tourist-boat. So we arrived at the ‘wrong’ time! The visitor moorings are fairly limited here, caused by the works on the opposite right bank. Last year we moored on the right bank, but that’s impossible now because of the ongoing reconstruction of it over a long stretch, on either side of Dinant’s bridge. That’s a huge setback for all the pubs and restaurants alongside the rive Meuse. We are told it will still take a long period before finishing – at least a year from now, according to someone who seemed to know.

As already visible on the last picture busloads of tourists were delivered at ‘our’ pontoon to enter the popular tourist-boat. Whenever in Dinant, have a round-trip by boat! It is utterly scenic.

Here’s the view from our ship towards the right bank. Good, isn’t it?

This ‘rail-bike’ (‘draisine’) is on display in front of Dinant’s tourist office. An intriguing thing, more about it on http://www.molignee.be/draisines_gb.htm. We plan to rent one later this year – on the way back.

On Dinant’s bridge there’s a plaque to be found commemorating the fact that Lieutenant (later, as we all know, General) Charles de Gaulle was wounded on the first day of the Battle of Dinant (15-24 August 1914), receiving a bullet in the fibula. See for more https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_de_Gaulle (the part concerning the First World War) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Dinant (highly recommanded).

A statue of Lieutenant Charles de Gaulle is erected next to the bridge. Of course we have the outmost respect for this man. But the statue is, say, a bit dull – not imaginative at all. A modern printer could do better!

One car – blocking two spaces at the same time

Seen in Dinant. No further comment.

Dinant was left behind on Saturday the 28th of May at 12:11PM. This is the view looking downstream, almost immediately after leaving, just before passing underneath the N97, part of ‘La Route Charlemagne’. (This for the connoisseurs among our audience.)

We climbed only one lock, named Anseremme – 2,23 meters, 7,33 feet. Well, it’s week-end, isn’t it? Waulsort was reached at 2:04PM, so it was an ‘effort’ of less than two hours for a distance of 10 kilometers (6,25 miles).

The same position, this time as seen from the right bank. It is all very attractive here in the Belgian Ardennes, so we are planning to stay for a few extra days. As the crow flies France is only about 5 kilometers (a bit over 3 miles) away. By river it is 9 kilometers (over 5,5 miles), 2 locks included. Next week we might have arrived in France. Just wait and see! Bye.