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MARY ANNE AND STEVE

 
 
  • Steve

Le Pont Canal

As you may know, France is criss-crossed by canals. These were originally used to transport goods, but are now mostly used by recreational boaters.

At the end of the 19th century, officials were unhappy with having the main north-south canal cross the flood-prone Loire, so they decided that a bridge needed to be built to take the canal over the top of the river. Hence the “canal bridge”.

But building a long bridge to carry boats is harder than a normal bridge. Why? Water is heavy and a canal has lots of it. Who ya gonna call? Gustave Eiffel, the man who recently constructed the world-beating tower for the Paris Exposition.

Last time Mary Anne and I were here in Briare, the bridge was painted the same dark green as the tower in Paris. Now, it has a coat of lighter green. Better or worse? You decide.

On both our last visit in 2014 and on this visit, we enjoyed the goods produced by this excellent chocolatier and ice cream maker. His shop, right on the canal is hard to resist.

The next photo is of the auberge on the other side of the canal where we slept and dined.

While walking across the bridge, I was struck by the beauty of the silt deposits built up behind the bridge supports. If you look carefully, you may see some people wading in the shallow river. It was 34 degrees Celsius on the day of our visit.

On this fine day we saw several vintage car clubs out for a drive. A group of mid-sixties Citroën cars were gathered at the Pont Canal when we arrived. I managed to photograph two.

En fun, I close with a canal barge made of chocolate by our ami pres du canal.

Excuse the Franglais. 😊

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