The Seille is a canalized river that flows down from the Jura mountains and meets up with the river Saône at La Truchère, not too far from Tournus. And, it is on this river-cum-canal that we completed the last leg of our week-long barge trip in Burgundy.
The Seille was more picturesque than the Saône, and not nearly as busy. Even though we were authorized to pull up anywhere along the banks, it was not easy to do so because the banks were not cut straight, and they were marshy. So, after one messy stop along the muddy bank for lunch and a walk through a field of sunflowers, we opted to stay at the paid moorings for the remainder of the trip.
The locks along the Seille were different from both the River and the Canal because they were operated manually - by us ! There were either cranks that you used to open and shut the sluice gates, or there were large steering wheel type things that you turned to open and shut them – one side at a time. The top photo shows the crank being used to open the gates, and the photo below it shows the gate being opened with the steering wheel.
We spent one night in Cuisery, which, because of its tradition of bookbinding and book selling, is known as one of four “Book Villages” of France. A walk through the medieval section of the village will bring you into contact with a bounteous supply of new and used books for any and all interests, including very rare books. Cuisery – Village du Livre also plays host to a Marché du Livre (Book Market) the first Sunday of each month, from 8:00am to 7:00pm.
We also spent the night in Louhans, which I found to be the most picturesque village along the Seille. It is in the heart of the Bresse country, and it claims to be the home of 157 Arcades (covered walkways). This is where we bought a Bresse Chicken to prepare for dinner that night. The butcher was so proud of his famous chicken with an AOC designation that he wanted us to take a picture of him posing with our soon-to-be dinner.
The last night of our barge trip was spent in the very tiny village of Loisy, where, the next morning, we bid adieu to L’Abbaye, our pénichette and home-away-from-home for the past week. Then we waited under the willow tree along the banks of the Seille for a taxi to arrive to take us back to the train station in Tournus to retrace our tracks back home to Antibes by train via the beautiful city of Lyon, where we had time for a leisurely stroll and a lovely alfresco lunch.