Meeting the barge in Sens and our hosts for the week

Mary, one of the owners, whom I had spoken to on the telephone, and conferred with by email, met us at the train station. She recognized us from a picture which we had sent her. We walked with our bags about four blocks to the river Yonne and got our first actual sight of the barge.

The barge moored in Sens

The Nooit Volmaakt is everything I had expected, charming and authentic. She was shining in the sun and Mary’s husband Marc was on the to deck to meet us. We got our bags on board and stowed in our cabin, and then settled in for a chat and a cup of tea and lemon biscuits.

Mary and Marc are easy company, erudite, interesting and personable.

We wanted some time to see the town in daylight – Sens is old, having begun as a Roman town and is home to one of the most venerable Gothic cathedrals in France, one which pre-dates Notre Dame. So we headed out for an exploratory walk.

When we returned to the boat, Marc had made some appetizers and surprised us with a good bottle of champagne in honor of our anniversary. With a French flourish, Marc added crystalized violets to each glass.


Later we walked back to the main square and enjoyed a superb meal of moules (mussels) at the Restaurant de la Cathedral. After, we listened to a singer in the bar next door then walked back.

Our bed is large and comfortable, and the room is cool, ideal for sleeping.

Mussels with creme fraiche and lardons

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