Monday 26 September 2011 Day 46 (102)

We cannot believe that September is now drawing to a close.  It is getting dark before 2100 and when Steve woke up this morning at 0650 it was still dark!!    With our berth booked at Auxonne in November for 3 months we now need to investigate a way of returning to UK that will not sting our savings too much.  We need to return our bikes to the company for defect repair too, so that will probably govern our method of return.

We headed off to the shops for food and then departed from the public quai at Dizy at 1114 for yet another wonderfully warm and sunny day on the canal.  As we passed Tours sur Marne we espied Andrew and Gail on Celine,  alongside picking walnuts.

Conde sur Marne - a little marina on the junction of the Marne and the Canal Marne a l'Aisne

Stopped alongside at Conde sur Marne  at a tiny little marina,  where we met Mike and June Brockway in their English narrowboat  ‘Temujin’ who have decided to stay there for the winter.  It is a pretty spot right by the junction with the Canal Marne a L’Aisne. We were quite secure, being moored to the ponton and the bottom as well.  These little marina’s do silt up.  Celine arrived shortly after us and Gail and Andrew invited us along to a champagne tasting at a house called Potie   (pronounced  po tee ay).    Lovely champers, bought two bottles.

We have learned that true champage is only made from two types of grapes,  Pino Noir and Chardonnay.   They both have to be grown in the Champagne region and they have to be picked by hand.   If a champage is ‘blanc de blancs’  it means it is made of just  Chardonnay grapes.   The ‘blanc de noirs’ is a mix of Chardonnay and Pino Noir grapes.    A ‘milliseeme’  is a vintage, where grapes of only one year are included, while a ‘cuvee’  is a blend of grapes from different harvests.      We also have a card telling us the different sizes of champagne bottles.  (good stuff for pub quizzes J)

Overnight Conde sur Marne  Andrew and Gail are departing on the Canal Marne a L’Aisne  early tomorrow morning to make their way north so we said our farewells after the ‘degustation’.

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