Canal Cruising in France (Paperback)
Throughout France is a vast network of canals and navigable rivers that lead through a wondrous variety of pastoral settings, medieval towns and villages and vibrant cities. Along the way are vestiges of human habitation spanning the millennia from palaeolithic times onward through a complex history of settlement. The occupation and taming of the land followed the courses of the rivers and crossed the low passes that link them to each other. The canals were built to aid commerce here in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and much of the original engineering is still in place. The coming of rail and then motorized road transport made them increasingly uneconomical and their use dramatically declined. They are now mostly left to the pleasure cruisers. Following these ancient routes along the peaceful canals and rivers of France is a superb way to experience the heart and soul of the country. This is a dream shared by many, and it is now easily possible with a rental boat. This book will introduce you to the cruising regions, to the boat rental companies and to the basic skills and knowledge you need to safely and confidently head off on your own voyage of discovery through the cultures, histories, foods and wines of France.