If you´re an adrenaline and action junkie you wouldn´t be too happy about traveling on a house boat.
If you like slow travel and want to get rid of and forget your stressful days at home, being on a house boat is the perfect vacation.
The Saône flows slowly along the region Franche-Comté in the eastern part of France close to the Swiss border.
After being nervous about how the automatic locks along the way will work and how to handle them, we start to relax. (Tips about it here: HOUSE BOATING IN FRANCE – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW)
We are six persons on the house boat and that´s a perfect number. More adults aboard would be a problem space wise. The two cabins in the back of the boat are each for a couple. The shower, toilet and wash basin are in one tiny room inside the cabin.
The two cabins at the front are smaller. The toilet and shower are separated and larger as the ones at the stern of the boat but are shared by the two cabins.
Charming landscape. As far as the eye reaches.
After every corner there is something new to see. Lazy cows along the shore, chirping birds and lots of fish.
Herons are gliding above the calm water. Chirping birds and the sound of the engine are the only thing you hear along the journey.
Idyllic and quaint little villages are waiting along the Saône to be explored.
It seems like time is standing still.
Only a grey cat with white spots and two dogs cross our way in Saveux. The local boulangerie and patisserie are closed in the afternoon. Even the goats from the cheese dairy relax in their bed of hay.
No hectic life whatsoever.
Even the donkey, next to the lock close to the village of Scey-sur-Saône, enjoys the “savoir vivre”. A house boat trip is nothing for party animals. 🙂
Ne rien faire douce!
With our bikes we ride along the village. It only takes a couple of minutes until we reach the end of it. A bike is a good thing to have aboard. One tip for renting a bike: Before you take it with you, be sure to check if the brakes work properly and if the saddle is in the right position! (We didn´t have any tools aboard.)
Between Gray and Scey-sur-Saône are little villages. Some of them belong to the “Petite Cité Comtoise de Caractère”. We stop at Ray-sur-Saône.
With the help of our metal pegs it´s easy to moor the boat next to the meadow. After walking for about two minutes we are in the center of Ray-sur-Saône. We see an old washing house and church and walk up to the castle. Too bad it´s not open for the public.
The streets are filled with the fragrance of flowers. Before we walk back to our house boat we enjoy a refreshing drink called Diabolo Citron at “Chez Yvette”, the only café and restaurant in Ray-sur-Saône.
To get to the village of Traves we steer the boat along a meander with an unspoiled landscape.
In Traves is a nice harbor. If you have time and energy you can rent a kayak. We enjoyed our time with walking around the village, before we leave for the village of Soing.
What A Welcoming Surprise
On the way from Gray to Scey-sur-Saone we pass two tunnels. Our captain Angelika knows how to steer the boat along the narrow channels. She and Roland steer through an underground tunnel while we enjoy the strange view.
Enjoy The Trip With Friends
Space aboard is minimal, that´s why it´s super important having a good relationship with the other passengers. You have to be able to trust and rely on them. Everybody should have their own tasks like handling the ropes, navigation and cooking. If you can´t rely on the other persons rethink if you really want to live on a house boat together for a period of time because you are tight together like this rope.
If you find the right people you will have a lot of fun and a relaxing time aboard, like our group of six had. I´ll never forget the time aboard, and hopefully have the chance to explore the rivers of Europe anytime soon again.
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