Strasbourg has the flavor of both Germany and France and sits on the border of the two countries. Petite France is Strasbourg’s most enchanting historic quarter of the city. It’s where the river Ill splits into a number of channels and window boxes overflow with color.
The neighborhood name comes from the “Hospice des Vérolés”, which was built in the 15 century. In the Middle Ages the city’s tanners, millers and fishermen lived in this area. At that time Germans called syphilis the “French disease”, hence the name Petite France. Today it is one of the main tourist attractions of Strasbourg. At times it’s difficult to tell which country you are really visiting. Signs are in both languages. Beer and wine are both tremendously popular, the architecture is distinctly German, but the country is France.
We made the five hour drive to Roanne, arriving at our estimated time. The fields of sunflowers along the way were stunning. We drove in and out of rain showers and small French villages enjoying the beauty of the country along the way.
The beautiful Franciose !! Our home on the canals for the next few days. We know the previous owners of this 1903 Tjalk and she has lovingly been restored to perfection. Originally these boats were inland cargo sailing boats, with engines being added later. The initial stability of these barges is phenomenal and their shape makes for roomy conversation areas in both bow and stern. The wide beam and gently rounded hull make inside quarters spacious and comfortable as well. She was 67′ long and still easy to handle.
Cruising the Loire canal was incredibly relaxing. We reached Chambilly mid day, where we walked into town and purchased a bottle of local wine to go with our dinner.