Tranquillity and a gentle pace of life

Anyone who has developed a taste for barge holidays will tell you the same: nothing recharges your batteries like going with the flow.

“Gliding in its slumber, the water conjures a dream, / a whispering of rushes, reeds, of lazy fronds, / in its drowsy confusion all unsure /of where the water’s flow yields to the verdure’s stillness…” these first lines of the poem La Rivière endormie by Claude Roy might almost have been talking about canal boat holidays. Waking up to birdsong or the sound of fishes wriggling alongside the boat, breakfast laid out on the deck, cruising down to the next lock, cycling along the towpaths or through the countryside, a snooze, reading, relaxed evenings putting the world to rights or rediscovering the fun of board games… Everyday pressures, the computer screen, meetings, and the bustle of city life might be a thousand miles away! Once on board, you’ll probably turn off your mobile and soon forget work-related stress, rediscovering your natural rhythms, living in harmony with nature, restoring contact with your body clock. As a background to this recipe for wellbeing, you could choose the wild landscapes of Ireland, the green vistas and cultural attractions of Germany, the flower-filled landscapes of Holland, the sun-warmed vistas of Italy or the Canal du Midi, the valleys of Poland… Or many other peaceful options.

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