Our Life in Burgundy

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The Blog: Our life in Burgundy

September 25, 2017

The 20th anniversary of the Voie Verte

Filed under: Events,People,Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 17:28

In 1997 the department of Saône-et-Loire constructed the first 44km of the Voie Verte  by concreting the disused railway line between Cluny and Givry. Today there is a continuous cycleway extending 300km, in the north joining the Voie Bleue along the Canal du Centre. Extra circuits called boucles are waymarked cycle rides which direct you round the villages and local points of interest and take you back to the voie verte again. Specially created paths link the various sections together and now there are plans to link all the 600km of paths in Burgundy and extend them to join the cycle paths of the Loire and the Voie Bressane, as well as the Voie Bleue running along the banks of the Saône.

So there were lots of events happening at the old stations along the voie verte over the weekend. St Gengoux kicked off with picnics, guided cycle rides and an stunt bike show, ending with a giant selfie taken by drone, and aperos with the cave des Vignerons de Buxy-St Gengoux.

We cycled down to Massilly on Sunday afternoon to hear the speeches given by the mayor, and other local dignitaries.

The mayor of Massilly, Alain De Javel, flanked by Jean-Luc Delpeuch (Communité des Communes Clunisois) and Jean-Luc Fonteray (Conseillor Général of the canton of Cluny)

There was an interesting exhibition photos from the time the railway was built. We were given straw hats by Jean-Marc which proved really useful as, despite it being the end of September, the sun was very hot.

The station at Massilly

We pedalled on to the Plan d’Eau at Cormatin where there was a very much more noisy celebration with the group Drugstöre Rock giving its all. Rather too loud however for the ladies making lace nearby.

Drugstöre Rock

Later Sabrina Sow from Equinoctis appeared with three horses and a foal. The foal was a great hit with its antics. It could not seem to step over the ringside to join its mum and gambolled at the side. Mum was completely unconcerned.

Sabrina Sow with her mare and foal

and on one of her Percherons

Grazing peacefully afterwards on the Plan d’Eau

A good time was had by all. Here’s to the next 20 years of cycling on the Voie Verte!


September 27, 2015

Eventful weekend part 1

Filed under: Events,Places — Tags: — Mary @ 20:55

It has been one of those weekends when there are just too many things we wanted to do.

On Saturday morning we managed to watch part of the pony jumping competition in Cluny. Some of the competitors looked only about six years old but they were galloping around a full set of jumps.


A good round

This little girl was so pleased with her clear round. Both children and ponies were immaculately turned out.


Well done!

It was also the Fête de la voie verte which offered all sorts of entertainment and demonstrations at Cormatin and St Gengoux. We called in at St Gengoux to see Il était une fois la gare, an exhibition of old photos which showed what the stations were like before the rails were taken up 25 years ago to make the present day cycle track.


100 years ago…


 and now

In the evening was the Fantastique Picnique in the Abbey grounds in Cluny. This was an event postponed from the summer when storms were forecast (which never actually materialised). Unfortunately the organisers had forgotten that it gets dark early at the end of September and the poor girls from the Haras were performing in the dark. It wasn’t easy to see a black horse with a girl in a black dress.


At least we could see this one

Sunday morning saw us taking trailer loads of hedge cuttings up to the tip. Our garden wall is leaning further and further into the road due to the pressure of roots and earth swollen by the recent rain so it has to be demolished before it falls down. So to this end Chris cut down three fir trees and trimmed the hedge. The walnut tree will be the next to go.


The leaning wall of Varanges

To be continued….

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