Out in Africa travel blog

Boat Chapel


Sainte Honorine

Conflans-Sainte Honorine is located at the confluence of Oise and Seine rivers. It was founded in the 6th century.

John was our guide this morning. He is educated on the river and the boats. Here is where retired boatman come. They moor their boats with the engines removed and live along the river. They make a monthly payment of 45 euros to the town for electrical and water hookup and a mailbox. A mailbox gives them an address so they can pay taxes. There is no sewer system so it is all released back into the river. The local officials don't care to provide waste disposal as the boatman don't vote. Apparently they don't care about river pollution either. There is a boat that does some dredging of the river for trash.

When a boatman dies his family has the option to buy the boat (they legally cannot inherit it) or pay to have it removed/destroyed. The local government is trying to get rid of the boats. It will probably happen soon enough as there are very few privately owned cargo boats any more. They only live in the front part of the boat, having a living room and bedroom. It is expensive to convert the cargo area for living.

We visited the church boat...Je Sers. It is the headquarters of the Catholic group Augustinians of the Assumption and is used for church services.

We passed by the ruins of the Montijoie Tower which dates back to the 11th century and was restored in 1980.

We visited the church. Learned that all churches have a rooster on top of their bell towers...it is the symbol of France, it sings in the morning and it is from the statement Christ made that someone would betray him before the cock crowed 3 times.

We had sunshine for most of the morning. Tonight we will arrive back in Paris and tomorrow we will leave for Chalon-sur-Saone.

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