European Canals

European Canals

Postby JoMeKe » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:44 am

Can anyone offer suggestions or recommendations about good/bad canal boat charter outfits and routes? We are considering one for the kids' spring break next Spring, probably in France as I want to tie in a visit to Normandy. Le Boat comes to mind as one of, if not the largest.

Thanks,
Ken Bowles
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Postby Gbonas » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:54 am

We spent 7 nites on canal du midi from trebles to narbonne. Used le boat. Our experience was very good. We had an almost new boat. There were a couple of hiccups on equipment we thought we had reserved. No big deal though. Was a fun adventure. Very relaxing. There were two couples on board . Lots of villages to visit. Great weather. 7 days seemed just right. Locks were fun.
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Postby JoMeKe » Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:32 pm

Gbonas wrote:We spent 7 nites on canal du midi from trebles to narbonne. Used le boat. Our experience was very good. We had an almost new boat. There were a couple of hiccups on equipment we thought we had reserved. No big deal though. Was a fun adventure. Very relaxing. There were two couples on board . Lots of villages to visit. Great weather. 7 days seemed just right. Locks were fun.


Thanks. We ended up renting a Le Boat through H2olidays which seemed to offer a slightly lower price than Le Boat as they charge in euros and Le Boat charges in dollars and the dollar has been getting a bit stronger lately. In fact, the price went down a little bit from the time we got a quote to the time our charge card was charged. They were very helpful. We are doing Brittany since, as I mentioned, we want to tie in a visit to the Normandy beaches and have limited time, it being Spring Break. Looking forward to it. The kids are excited, which is what's really important.

Thanks for the feedback.
Ken Bowles

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Postby Tom Overs » Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:48 am

Ken, if your tying in a visit to the landings..... Your going to need much more time. :P

Don't miss going here.... Sainte-Mère-Église. There are a couple of museums and to this day they still have a Paratrooper hanging from church.

This village was depicted in the film "The Longest Day"


I have visited this area several times when we used to go to a farmhouse owned by a friend. A day or two isn't enough. Take plenty of tissues.
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Postby Bernie Tresner » Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:48 pm

[quote="Tom Overs"] they still have a Paratrooper hanging from church.[/quote]

Are you suggesting there is a 90 something year old soldier still hanging from the steeple? 😂😞
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Postby grich737 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:42 pm

If you look at the pictures on the internet the Paratrooper changes quite often. I like that they keep this up take lots of pictures Ken
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Postby JoMeKe » Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:18 pm

Tom Overs wrote:A day or two isn't enough. Take plenty of tissues.


Tom,

No doubt. But we are constrained by the kids' Spring Break. We're already taking them out of school for a few extra days. With my Dad's passing last December and Mom's in April (she was a nurse serving the front line troops), I want to at least go and have a little closure as well as show it to the kids while they are still fresh in their minds, even if I can't do the event complete justice. The only time I was there with them, I was a teenager (many, many moons ago). I will have his diary account with me and just want to soak it up a little. I also don't want to bore the kids. It needs to be manageable for their minds without making it a chore, so they appreciate the whole event without feeling like they are on a forced march of their own.

I recall Dad talking about Sainte-Mère-Église, among many other experiences. I think the "paratrooper" hanging from the church will help to make it real for them. Thanks for the advice.
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Postby Tom Overs » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:11 am

Ken the kids will love it, my son did when he was about 11.

A well-known incident involved paratrooper John Steele of the 505th PIR, whose parachute caught on the spire of the town church, and could only observe the fighting going on below. He hung there limply for two hours, pretending to be dead, before the Germans took him prisoner. Steele later escaped from the Germans and rejoined his division when US troops of the 3rd Battalion, 505 Parachute Infantry Regiment attacked the village, capturing thirty Germans and killing another eleven. The incident was portrayed in the movie The Longest Day by actor Red Buttons.

The beaches are fine sand and deserted. Enjoy Ken.

Tom.
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Postby Bruce Marino » Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:33 pm

Ken - sorry I didn't jump in here sooner - we chartered with Locaboat 2 years ago on the Canal du Nivernals ( Burgundy) - you and the kids will have a great time - the kids will have a ball - the " crew " helps the lock keeper open and close the locks - and when you get to the U.S. Cemetery in Normandy, you are sure to leave with a tear or two in your eye - have fun - it will truly be a vacation to remember -
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Postby JoMeKe » Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:51 pm

Tom Overs wrote:Ken the kids will love it, my son did when he was about 11.


Tom, same age but different gender. I hope they enjoy it but they are girls after all and have never played with toy soldiers, tanks or cowboys. We will see.

Bruce, I suspect there will be much more than just a tear or two. I get that much just sitting here thinking about it. Being there will be very difficult but very meaningful.

Thanks all.
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Pointe du Hoc

Postby K Dowling » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:42 pm

I recommend starting at Pointe du Hoc. It is a smallish area the tells the larger story very well. There is a good visitor center, sweeping views of the beaches and unfenced remnants of the gun emplacements and observation bunker. The kids can wander around. There are many photo opportunities and a tale to tell that captures in one place the stunning heroism of the landings. Google Pointe du Hoc, or, read the reviews on Tip Advisor.
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Postby JoMeKe » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:53 pm

Thanks, Kevin. That is one of the places that intrigued Dad on his return trips and it is definitely on our list, along with Sainte-Mère-Église. Trying to find a nice little inn to stay in for a couple of nights, perhaps in or near Bayeux. Any suggestions?

BTW, Atlanta is my home town. Rest of the family still lives in the area—brother in Crabapple, sister in Norcross. Parents were in Roswell their last several years. I grew up in Buckhead and lived in Sandy Springs before moving west. Many years spent on Lake Lanier!
Ken Bowles

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