Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Sancerre road-trip part 6...waterway to go!

Before heading back to Southern Touraine we decided to make the 45 minute drive up to the Pont-canal in Briare -something we, Pauline and I, had only seen in photographs. Mike and Liz had been before but were happy to revisit.

The canal bridge crosses the Loire river connecting the Briare canal to the canal Latéral à la Loire..

There are walkways either side of the waterway which are 662mtrs long - it had actually been the longest steel canal aqueduct in the world up until 2003 when one at over 900mtrs was built over the river Elbe in Germany. 

It is interesting to stand and look over the waterway onto the mighty Loire river.

We walked the length of the bridge and were pleased to see the sun making an appearance as we reached the other side.

We were sure you must be able to cross to the other side somewhere but not by a bridge over it so we continued or walk to find you can actually go underneath it via a tunnel ...

...with what looked like sluice gates - couldn't quite understand what they would be used for.

         You can choose to take the steep steps or a more gentler footpath at either side of the tunnel..

Both ends are decorated with ornamental columns reminiscent of those you would find decorating the bridges of Paris. It is perhaps these and the steelwork that have many people associating its design with Gustave Eiffel  who in fact was only responsible for the stone abutments and piers supporting the steelwork.

The design itself was actually by engineers Léonce-Abel Mazoyer and Charles Sigault.

Looking back towards Briare.

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