Celebrating a big anniversary on the canals of France

I’m barging into an adventure in a few weeks, and I can’t wait. It’s unchartered territory for me, though, so I have some reservations.

Nooit Volmaakt

Nonetheless, on Aug. 26 I will board the Nooit Volmaakt and begin a holiday on the canals of France. The Nooit Volmaakt is a restored Dutch barge owned by a Canadian couple from Victoria, B.C.

It is the kind of holiday I always look for, a bit different, a bit challenging, not too feverishly paced, and promising good food and wine. There are lovely French villages to visit, some good walks and bicycling, and time to do some discrete painting as the barge slowly navigates the narrow canals of rural France.

I found the barge cruise in the small personal ads of our national newspaper, the Globe and Mail. A few emails and telephone calls between myself and Mary Koyl, one part of the couple who own the boat, and I was convinced. This was how my husband and I would celebrate our special anniversary. Forty years ago, we spent most of our honeymoon in France, so how perfect to return, and this time with a bit more style. We were poor newlyweds then.

In my next post, I’ll cover some of the history of the canals and the barges that ply them, as well as review the different ways to search for the perfect barge for you.




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