I love Autumn and I am loving being back in France, at this time of year. We have had beautiful weather with brilliant blue skies, long, sunny days and temperatures in their low to mid-twenties. Perfect!

One of my favourite places in Castelnaudary is the port and, at this time of the year, there is a lot of activity here. The Canal du Midi closes from the end of November until March, so many boats choose to overwinter here.

I enjoy particularly seeing all the different types of boats stacking up for the winter. Sometimes the owners stay on their boats. Others return to their families for Christmas or travel to warmer climes.

Over the years, we have met some delightful boat owners of all different nationalities. We connected with owners of ‘Beatrix’, pictured below, through a mutual love of dogs. They have a wonderful young lurcher, called Kojo who came and played with Zeph in our garden on several occasions.

The boats moor on both sides of the Canal port. The port is run by the Capitainerie and offers all kinds of facilities to the boat crews, including showers, washing machines, driers. The one in Castelnaudary is held in high esteem.

The photo below features a beautiful green vessel. I was standing on the opposite side of the canal to take this shot and I wanted to feature the clear skies, traditional houses, reflections in the water and the boats, of course!

The rental company ‘Le Boat’ runs the largest fleet of self-drive cruisers on France’s waterways. It has a base in Castelnaudary situated in the Grand Bassin which is the largest body of open water along the Canal du Midi. This makes it the perfect place for holiday makers setting off on their canal journeys.

The winter is the ideal opportunity to service and carry out any work that may need to be done on the boats.

There is a dry dock in the Grand Bassin as you can see below.

At this time of year, it is still warm enough to be able to enjoy a coffee in the fresh air.

However, the evening are much cooler and we have electric radiators in our house which are highly inefficient and expensive. Thank goodness for the open fire!

Zeph is having a wonderful time – mostly! Here he is looking rather pensive beside the canal, amongst the autumn leaves.

I hope you have enjoyed my glimpse of autumn in Castelnaudary. I’d love to know if you are also a fan of this season!