Canal du Nord – bottom to top!

Almost five and a half years ago we arrived in France on Calliope at the mouth of La Somme. This was our introduction to boating in Europe, and when at the end of La Somme we turned right onto the Canal du Nord we thought we were really now among the big barges of theContinue reading “Canal du Nord – bottom to top!”

A short trip East to West on 3 canals

Canals Sambre, Saint Quentin and Lateral à L’Oise 5th to 7th September 2021 It took just two days cruising to go the final three and a half kilometres on the Canal de la Sambre from Beautor, the seven and a half kilometres on the Canal de Saint-Quentin to Chauny, and the eighteen kilometres on theContinue reading “A short trip East to West on 3 canals”

Canal de Sambre à l’Oise

A wonderful week on country waters 30th August – 5th September 2021 Robert Louis Stevenson was still with us as we moved onto the canal built in the 1800s to link the Sambre at Landrecies with the Oise at La Fère – both places mentioned by RLS in his book ‘An Inland Voyage’. To writeContinue reading “Canal de Sambre à l’Oise”

Carry on up the Sambre!

The French Sambre 26th to 29th August 2021 This is a nice short blog, especially in comparison to some of my recent ramblings. We had three nights and the best part of four days on this stretch of the 2021 voyage. Bienvenue en France! We left Erquelinnes on a blue and sunny morning, crossing theContinue reading “Carry on up the Sambre!”

Late summer in Belgium part 3

Down the Belgian Sambre with some Haut Escaut, and Canals Nimy-Blaton-Ath, de Centre and Brussels – Charleroi August 15th to 26th 2021 We left Antoing and friends Mieke and Frans, setting off up the Haut Escaut towards the two big locks at Péronnes; these still ring alarm bells in the mind of the Captain asContinue reading “Late summer in Belgium part 3”

Late Summer in Belgium – part 2

The voyage to meet Mieke and Frans Canal Bossuit-Kortrijk, L’Escaut and Canal de L’Espierres 5 – 14 August 2021 (Think I have included far too many photos! Apologies, but hope you enjoy them) Here we go at last! After 9 months of Covid- delay in the UK, and then quarantine in Kortrijk when we returnedContinue reading “Late Summer in Belgium – part 2”

Late summer in Belgium part 1

July 28 to August 5th 2021 If you have been following the Calliope blog you will know that we were stuck in the UK well past our normal April return to the boat, and when the usual cruising season begins. At first we more concerned about the Brexit effect than anything Covid related, wondering howContinue reading “Late summer in Belgium part 1”

Hull maintenance in Zelzate

29th September – 23rd October 2020 As we left the marina at Spanjeveer dawn was breaking on a lovely late September day. We were on our way to have the hull pressure washed and repainted – part of the five yearly maintenance programme. The Moervaart was glorious in the early light, and we shared theContinue reading “Hull maintenance in Zelzate”

Down and up the Durme

16th to 29th September 2020 We left Gent on the Tuesday, with a lovely send-off, knowing (or should I say thinking?) we had almost 2 weeks to kill while waiting to go into the boat yard for the 5-yearly hull cleaning and painting. The cruise out of Gent was interesting in itself, up through theContinue reading “Down and up the Durme”

Late August in the region of Antwerp

Canals Bocholt-Herentals, Dessel-Turnhout-Schoten, Albert, Nete (and river Beneden-Nete) and Leuven-Dijle 18th to 31st August 2020 It was a Tuesday when we left the Blauwe Kai area in Limburg region and moved into the Antwerp province. The latter had been having a bit of a coronavirus spike, especially in Antwerp itself, but we felt safe isolatedContinue reading “Late August in the region of Antwerp”