Our next stop, for 2 nights, was Mons. It isn’t easy mooring there with Piedaleau, as its always windy (it’s on a ‘grande large’ ie large lake). But after an unplanned 180* turn, and a little frank discussion, we managed to get tied up! We have been to Mons a couple of times before but never actually visited the city so we were determined to do so this time. We spent Saturday playing tourists which was lovely.
An exhibition of Jean Miro had just opened at the Beaux-Arts Musee – so in we went. Miro is a name I knew but had never seen many of his works before.
We then followed the walking tour around the old town and visited the Beffroi tower. Beautifully restored, lovely carillon bells and great views of the town and surrounding countryside.
After lunch in the square, in the sunshine, we went into the Church of Sainte Waudru. Some beautiful stained glass windows, some described as a rare example of Art Deco!
The procession of the Golden Coach is one of the most important & historical religious events of the country, dating back to the 14th century. On Trinity Sunday, the coach parade around the town the reliquary shrine containing relics of Sainte Waudru. At the Rampe St Waudru the crowd helps the horses pull the coach – people literally push the coach up the incline. There was a video showing the event so I tried to catch a photo for you as it looks rather crazy!
Whilst we were there someone was practising playing the organ – it was superb and really atmospheric – everyone stopped to listen.
After our ‘touristing’ we had a gauffre and then headed back for a quiet evening on the boat.
Next morning, after a misty start, the sun came out and we headed along the Canal du Centre for our final stop before Valenciennes.