26-Apr-2011 -- Joining my eldest son and family at an Eastern Canoe camp in Luxembourg is the start of a trip through France. From Kautenbach, close to 50° N 6° E (visited in 2004) I set my navigation for Reims and find a camping site at Dormans 35 km SW of Reims. The next day I ignore all commands of my navigation directing me to the autoroute A4. Instead I follow as much as possible the river Marne by the D969. This is the region of the champagne, with signs everywhere stimulating you to buy the sparkling wine. And of course you are driving between the vineyards. A beautiful trip of about 65 km full of sunshine brings me to the village of Isles les Meldeuses. The confluence is West of the village at the riverside on a small island in the river Marne.
For the image by GoogleEarth you have to go back in time; the newest GoogleEarth image shows a cloud over the DCP area.
A narrow bridge over the Marne gives also admittance to this island by a narrow fisherman’s path. I park the car close to the bridge and follow the path through the bushes. Due to an early and warm spring the trees are already full of leaves. Around the DCP, really at the edge of land and water, a lot of fallen trees, branches, nettles made the all-zero dance a bit difficult.
I decide to assign a clear spot to the DCP (within 6 m). The picture is taken from the path, looking East. The light blue at the top is the river Marne. All N-E-S-W images show the trees and branches and in light blue the Marne. The East image shows the calving bank on the other side of the Marne.
A bit more in the direction of the barrage I see a strange building. At the front of the building is a plaquette saying “USINE ELEVATOIRE DE VILLERS-LES-RIGAULT”. The website (in French) explains to me the purpose of this museum: elevating (pumping) water from the Marne into the nearby canal of the l’Ourcq to maintain the water level in the canal. Unlucky the museum is rarely open.
Suddenly I hear a boat on the river and returning to the bridge I can make a photograph of the ship that enters the lock. Combined with a photograph taken at the beginning of the visit makes a panoramic view from the bridge. The DCP is indicated and the arrow indicates the supply for the Usine Elevatoire.
A number of green fresh leaves once again emphasise the time of the year: SPRING. I continue my trip to the region between Fontainebeau and Orleans to visit my cousin and then proceed to Mayenne for some days of tree cutting at a small camping of friends.