Here is our final blog for 2017.
We did put Anja to rest for the winter, in Migennes, back in September but did not quite complete our writing. Perhaps we are trying to extend what has been a wonderful experience by delaying? Anyway, we have been very busy back in Australia and are about to have an even busier Christmas. We will have the whole family together for the first time in a while along with all the partners and six (and a half) grandchildren.
Everything on Anja was given an especially good clean and polish. We were able to fit most of the clothing that we wished to keep into our bags and only caused a small frown at check in when they weighed 63Kg (only 3Kg over). All the tools, furnishings, toys, utensils, drapery etc are staying on board. For the first time, we rented a car to get us to CDG Airport and this worked extremely well. There was very little walking required. We normally catch trains.
It is very difficult to sum up eight incredible years in a few words. Our readers will know that we have had amazing experiences, seen beautiful things, explored many places and discovered a lot about the history and patrimony of the places we visited. Apart from side trips by car or train or bicycle, the barge has travelled approximately 16,000Km and passed through more than 4,000 locks and several dozen tunnels.
Our favourite country has been France (followed by Belgium). We have experienced wonderful people, sights, history, culture, food and wine.We have received many kindnesses. In particular, our friends Chantal and Christian have been amazing French Ambassadors and have humbled us with their kindnesses. Now too, they are wandering the countryside in their camping car. They have taught us so much about so many things.
In four short months, Anja will be with her new owners (Debbie and John) and we know they too will have wonderful and different adventures cruising in Europe.
We wish all of you a happy, safe and holy Christmas and New Year.
David and Penelope.