August 2001

Do you remember your first car trip after learning how to drive? Instead of just driving across town, imagine that you drove from San Francisco to New York. And instead of driving a car, imagine that you were driving an 18 wheeler. You would be sure to have an exciting trip.  That's how it was for us.

Our first night in Namur, Belgium, when we saw the fireworks, we felt as though that was a fitting welcome for beginning drivers who had come a long way, and learned so much during their first voyage.
A view overlooking Namur, Belgium




It took us about two months to reach our destination in Belgium, and there is not room enough on the Internet to tell all our incredible adventures.  Over dinner some night ask us to tell the story of the optical illusion that caused us to think we were sinking.  Can two people qualify for mass hysteria?




 Colorful tall, narrow buildings along the river in Namur

This was a storybook adventure, and when we arrived in Belgium we found it to be a storybook beautiful country.  Namur is located at the confluence of the Sambre and Meuse rivers.  There is a citadel overlooking the city, and from there the views are magnificent. We happened to arrive on July 21st, their Independence Day, hence the fireworks. There was also a huge flea market along the river, music in the air and a festival atmosphere.

Dinant, Belgium from the citadel



The next weekend we traveled to Dinant.  Another ancient city along the Meuse river, and they also had a citadel to protect the city.  While touring the citadel, we learned that in this case the citadel didn't provide too much protection.  Over the centuries, this town was brought down more times than the New Year's Eve ball in Times Square.


 Our barge moored near the cathedral in Dinant

On this particular weekend though, the sun was shining in this resort town and summer was in full swing.  There was a live band playing under the bridge for full acoustic effect and smiling people strolling along the river soaking up the sun and the atmosphere.

We found a great place to moor along a row of outdoor cafés.  Dinner was just two steps away and the people watching was fantastic. Resort towns attract people from all over, so it was fun to sit on our back deck and try to identify the country of origin of all of the passing tourists.

Mission accomplished. We had our barge completely measured in Dinant, and we now have wonderful detailed drawings depicting our widest, narrowest, longest, highest, deepest points.

The Meuse river from the bow of our barge as we head back towards France.


We traveled south on the Meuse, a river with one pretty little village after another. We passed many extremely large and beautiful river front homes. The weather was hot and the river was cool.  It was a great vaA chateau along the Meusecation.







Our next destination is the Champagne region of France.  We hope they will chill a couple of bottles of Champagne for us, after this long trip, we'll feel like celebrating.