I have updated my web site for the semi-annual cleanup effective with the end of 2019. We are in France at least once each year – and the end of year update often has images from the most recent trip. We put off the fall trip this year – so our trip this year will be Spring 2020.
Since we don’t have our annual trip, I looked for a good alternative that would fill the definition of places! The collection I chose for January 2020 reflects our trips over the previous 24 years. We typically fly to Paris, then take a train into the French countryside. We rent drive-it-yourself canal boats. The rental company gives you a five minute lesson, then turns you loose. The speed limit on most canals is about 10 mph – so you’re not going very fast and there’s rubber bumpers around the boat.
The images in this collection represent many of the boats that we’ve piloted since our first trip in October 1996. Particularly for photography, these boats are fantastic. They are a great platform to shoot on, and you go places that are not typical (American) tourist destinations. We also go on the shoulder seasons (April/May, September/October) so there are a reasonable number of people out on the canals.
As you navigate your route, there are many picturesque places to stop. Since you are drive-it-yourself, you can stop and tie up anywhere on the route. You just have to make the agreed upon drop off point at the time in the contract.
Please look at these images not just an images of the boats – but think of the opportunity they represent for photographers. You’re welcome to e-mail me if you want the name of our rental company. The boats you see are built specifically for them, with the general hull shape of a 19th-century French barge. There are cabins and a galley – so you can be self-contained if you want to be. However, the restaurants in the villages and canal-side are usually excellent!