June 14, 2018
Villesequelande to beyond Bram
Breakfast on the boat was simple because we didn’t have fresh pastries yet! After breakfast Ollie, Jill and Eke went for a bike ride into Villesquelande to pick up some supplies. We found the “new” grocery store at the edge of town and bought some fruit etc and of course some patisseries! Ollie got into a conversation with the woman behind the counter asking about what had happened to the small “old” grocery store in town. She told him that they had bought this property and are planning to open up a camping with cabins and the pizza restaurant next door is already open. She was very friendly and showed us the cabins: they were round huge wine barrels with a bunkbed inside. Really neat.
From there we biked back into town to the centre of the town where we got a giant key for the church. It was a small, simple church and had a real warm atmosphere. There were some statues and silk flowers yet it was not ornate. We found the psalter hymnals in an empty wine box. That tickled our fancy – felt down to earth. The church was at least from the 12th century and restored later. In front of the church on the small square was a tree from the 17th century. It is on “life support” which means that they have attached a big bottle of fluid to the tree and a line to inject it into the trunk! The beautiful canopy is very large and is held up by three steel poles. The trunk has a huge big hole in the middle – the old lady is getting all the support she needs to stay alive!
Back on the boat we had an early lunch with a sweet and then decided to tackle some more locks and stop at Bram. Early afternoon we tied up just outside of Bram at a restaurant. Ollie, Jill and Eke took the bikes on shore again and rode over a nice bike path to the town. Bram is a bit bigger than Villesequelande and we went to a Spar grocery store to get an ice cream! We were really desperate for one! We could only buy a box of four and as we could not let it melt, Ollie decided that the person who finished the first one, could have the second one. Jill was the lucky winner!
Bram is built in circles around the church. The “inner” circle is the oldest and was surrounded by a wall originally with a moat for protection. In a later century most of the wall and the moat were broken down and the second circle was built with a wall again. The third circle was built later again and had a much wider reach into the countryside. We visited the church: more ornate than the one in Villesequelande and not as much atmosphere. Still a very impressive building with its old stained glass windows, the old stone floors and of course the silk flowers!
Then we searched for the pharmacy. Eke had been bitten on her leg just above the ankle 2 days before and the leg looked quite red and angry and was very itchy especially at night. The woman in the pharmacy was very nice and between Ollie, Eke and the woman she got clear on what had happened and what Eke was experiencing and recommended a cream and some pills to take for a few days. The cream helped calm down the itching immediately. The red angry spot lingered for another week.
We cycled back to the boat and sailed through a few more locks to make the last day of our journey lighter tomorrow. Right after our last lock for the day we tied up along the shore, made a nice dinner with the lamb chops we had bought that morning, a salad and pan fried potatoes. We enjoyed our (last) home made dinner on the boat and called it a day!.