Saturday, 7 July 2018

Hochleden to Richardmenil (or, Black Screen of Death and Hangover from Hell!)

Me flying solo at the bottom of the Arzviller Inclined Plane while Mike walked up to the top to get photos

It’s been so hot I haven’t had the energy to sit and write and have simply been flaking out on the settee or front deck after a day’s boating, but today we have done a short cruise of two hours and are on the most beautiful mooring with an ideal shady picnic table to use as a desk.  Now, where were we…….ah, yes, Hochleden on the Canal du Marne au Rhin Ouest……Wednesday 27th June……

We were heading back into Saverne for a couple of days for various reasons; we liked it and were happy to have another couple of nights there, we knew there were various bars showing the World Cup so would be able to catch the England-Belgium game, and Mike wanted to do some work and there was plenty to keep me occupied while he did so. 

The thing about going back the way we’ve come is I tend to get a bit lazy with the camera, so having done this stretch already I didn’t bother taking any pictures.

Once moored up we headed to the garage and topped up our diesel and then on to the bakery for some break, cakes and quiche.  We were surprised to find on our return to the boat that Germany had lost their match to South Korea and were out of the World Cup!!  The Germans in the boat next to us were fairly subdued therefore, and we spent a quiet night in the marina.
All quiet on the German football fan front....
The next day the laundry was done, and Mike got stuck into some work.  In the afternoon I visited the Rosarie, which was probably just a couple of weeks past its best, but still had some lovely blooms.
I've recycled the leaflet but recall that the gardens were established in the early 1900s, and were restored following destruction during the two world wars.  They must be really quite magnificent when in full bloom.



On my way back to the boat I picked up some supplies from Super-U and we got ourselves ready to head out to watch the match.  We hadn’t eaten, so the plan was to find a bar/restaurant showing the match and eat while we watched.  The first option was the bar/bistro on the port, but it was absolutely chock-full, so we continued into town to check the other few options we’d noted on our previous visit.  We selected one on the square and took our seats near the screen and waited while the waiter tended some other customers.  Having done so, we waited while he disappeared, then waited again while he came out and cast an eye around all the tables, carefully avoiding our eyes that were staring right at him and waited again whilst he went to chat to some other customers before noticeably staring past us one last time and returning to the restaurant.  Thankfully we have had very few feelings of ‘anti-englishness’ towards us but sadly this evening was very definitely one of them and feeling hurt, disappointed and a little angry, we left and headed across the square to one of the other bars.  As we settled into our seats, a smiling waitress arrived to tell us that they were showing the other match on that evening, but the bar next door was showing the England game.  So we moved on, got some seats next door just as the game started.  We waited.  We waited for a while, looking around to see the bar staff serving other people and hanging around the bar.  Thinking that it looked like what we know as a bar, we wondered if it was bar service, so Mike headed up but was flicked away back to his seat to wait for someone.  Once they had served all the people that had arrived after us, a young chap finally came over and without making eye contact, took our order; one small beer, and one large please (ordered in French).  A few minutes later two small beers arrived, but feeling we were lucky to get anything at all, we just accepted them graciously.  We didn’t expect to be offered another drink when they were finished, but at half-time the staff had changed and a young female served us – slightly more politely than the chap but without the smiles and chat clearly reserved for the locals.  I asked, in French, for a small beer and a large beer for my husband, and this time we got the right drinks.  Hoping for a third we were very near the end of the game when she finally took note of our empty glasses and we shouldn’t have bothered but we did. 

We hadn’t pushed our luck by asking for food, so decided we would pick up a takeaway pizza or kebab on the way home, but word must have been sent on  from the pub that the English were on their way and as each establishment came into view, the lights went out and the shutters slammed down.

The last chap wasn’t quite so quick off the mark, a Lebanese restaurant and takeaway and although they were closed and had cleaned up, offered to do us a selection platter each.  He was pleasant and chatty and then charged us 30 euros for what we reckoned was probably normally about 16……… but it was really tasty and there was enough left-overs for the next day’s lunch, so it wasn’t all bad.
Looking down the deep lock at Saverne with the port round the corner at the bottom.

All around this area are signs pointing to my Aunty - but I can't find her!!

As we left Saverne there was a military parade taking place in the ground of the Palais de Rohan leaving a coat of red dust on Quaintrelle courtesy of our friend in the sky!! :(
The next day we pushed off with a slightly bitter taste in our mouths from the previous night and glad to be leaving Saverne as we’d felt so distinctly unwelcome – I’m hoping that it was just because of the football…….  We reached the deep lock around the corner to find ourselves third in a queue with two cruisers in front of us that we wouldn’t fit in with.  As they went in and up, we shuffled forward to the first in line position as a large clatter drew our attention behind us to see all 180 tonnes of the barge Epatant bang off one wall and cross the canal to bang off the other a few seconds later.  She was heading to come up behind us and clearly the driver had little or no idea how to steer her……  She’d been moored round the corner from the port and we thought she was a permanently moored house-barge but here she was trundling up the canal.  The young lad up front managed to get off with a rope and secure her to the side behind us and then came up to ask if you had to book the lock.  His dad had just got the boat and this was their first trip out on her – gulp!

I explained the lock was manned so we just had to wait for the boats coming down and then the lock-keeper would give a green light for the next to go up.  Epatant would take a lock on her own at 30 metres long so we wouldn’t be going up with her – phew!

However, this meant that the cruiser that came banging off both sides behind them could come in with us, and as they headed past Epatant, they narrowly missed her, went banging off the wall opposite and them came crashing into us!  Mike went ballistic shouting at them to get control – it wasn’t even a hire boat, but an ex-hire that had half a dozen German blokes in their 60s and 70s who were completely clueless (as shown in the state of the boat, most of the rubber straking to protect the hull was ripped off and the metal plates beneath bent and broken into sharp projectiles).  The guy at the wheel tried to explain he thought they had a problem with the throttle as he couldn’t get it into gear, as they came back towards us for another shot, and Mike bellowed instructions to them to get a rope on the front and back and get onto the side well-away from us.  This worked and all was quiet as the lock emptied and we got a green light to go up.  As the Germans tried to follow us, Mike clearly indicated that there was no way on this earth that we were prepared to share a lock with them, and I lifted the blue lever and the gates began to close.  Then they began to open again and the lock-keeper appeared looking down at us and we told her that they had rammed us and we didn’t want to share a lock with them in case they did further damage.  So she brought us up alone and at the top Mike went in to explain what had happened properly, that we weren’t being awkward, but they were having a major problem controlling their boat and were a danger to others.  The lock-keeper accepted this and logged it as ‘a complaint’, and said if they were that bad, she was worried about the lock gates.

Leaving the lock, we soon calmed down on the beautiful cruise up to lovely Lutzelbourg where we spent the next two nights.  Thankfully when the Germans had hit us, they’d hit one of our shutters, not our paintwork, and I managed to clean most of the damage off with a sponge…………..
Having caught us up at Lutzelbourg, we were keen to see the 30 metre, 180 tonnes Epatant go up the lock.

No steering required on the way out as there's nowhere to move in the lock!


Sunday July 1 was inclined plane day so it was with some excitement that we pushed off along with a hire boat with a nice Swiss couple on board, and headed up out of Lutzelbourg.

Having come down the inclined plane some weeks ago, we decided that going up, I would drop Mike off and he’d walk up to the top to get some pictures of me and Quaintrelle coming up.  It really is the most amazing experience and just as exciting doing it for the second time as it was the first!
Getting into position at the bottom

Into the trough we go.......
Budging up again to squeeze a third boat in.... :(...... and we're off......

Up, up and away.....

And in no time at all, we're at the top, waiting to come out.
We stopped at the top to have a look around the machine room, then continued on to moor at the top of the old flight of locks that the inclined plane had replaced in 1968.  I was looking forward to a nice walk back down the old flight but as I got ready heard some noise of anguish from Mike in the living room.  He had opened his laptop and the screen was black.  When we’d been in Edinburgh in June, he’d noticed that the bottom bar on the screen had a chip out of it and had taken it to the Apple Store where they said he’d need the screen replaced, but it should still work okay until he decided to do that.  He’d noticed it had been fading over the past week and today it was black.  We both tried various fixes found online but to no avail.  The only option was to take it to the nearest Apple Store, which happened to be Strasbourg, and have a new screen fitted.  We were both gutted and headed for a short walk down some of the locks whilst we thought of options; turn round and take the boat back to Lutzelbourg and get the train from there to Strasbourg, or  continue on to Niderviller and get a taxi to Sarrebourg to get the train to Strasbourg.  Both options put paid to a nice long walk and a quiet rural mooring for the night.  Then there was the problem of how we’d get it back once it was fixed……..
 
Disused Lock 2 of 16 after the inclined plane took over in 1968

And pretty No.4 which is a house now.
We decided to continue on to Niderviller, arriving just before 5pm, to find we were charged the same for one night as we’d been charged for two just a few weeks earlier – how annoying!  Either she made a mistake the first time, or they charge double in July/August than they do in June.  Anyway, she phoned to book a taxi again for Mike and the following morning he was off just after 8am to catch the train just before 9am.

In Strasbourg he waited with a few others for the store to open at 10am.

Meanwhile, back on board, I’d gone back to bed once he left, slept an hour, then got up and got on with the next layer of work needing done on the shutters.

He returned laptopless around 2.30pm, with the good news that they had the part (the screen) in stock, so it could be ready in 2/3 days, but we should give it a week.  We decided to push on as we didn’t want another expensive night in Niderviller so cast off and cruised for a few hours whilst Mike looked at options in around a week to 10 days’ time for getting back to Strasbourg.

The pretty port at Xouaxange had been full when we passed last time so we hoped to get in this time but the two boats moored in the middle of the quay meant ¾ of us fitted at one end and 1/3 at the other.  Again, no offer was made to shuffle up, so we continued passed and went on until we reached the deep lock at Rechicourt.  A boat was on its way up when we arrived so we waited til they’d left for the green light.  The gates stayed open and the lock ready for us but the light remained on red, so after about 15 minutes I went to look for the lock keeper to ask if we were getting to go down or not.  It was now 6.10pm and the last lock would be at 6.30pm as it closes at 7pm and it’s a 30 minute turnaround.  I could hear him coughing and humming but he ignored my calls at the office door, so I went back to the boat and after a few more minutes waiting, Mike tried with the same result.  Just as he got back, the light went green and we went into the lock and were issued with our telecommand (remote control) for the next stretch of locks.

It appears that the lock is left empty overnight, so he was keeping us waiting to be the last emptying of the day, but two boats had arrived to come up, so he had to put us down after all.  If only he’d said………..
Fantastic rural mooring at the bottom of the lock



Our first lock of Tuesday 2 July was Wild Cat Lock and we had stocked up with extra kitty food for the wee ferals that live there.  They must have heard us coming and we could see them gathering at the lock as we approached.
All cats fed and watered :)
We arrived at our destination, Lagarde, just after lunchtime and were immediately invaded by flies!!  The boat was thick with them and Mike spent about an hour with the fly swat before giving up and moving on shore with a chair to sit and read in the afternoon sun.  The weird thing was, they weren’t on the bank – only on our boat!!  We had a wander to the restaurant and booked a table for the evening, asking if they would be showing the England game, which they said the could if we wanted to watch, and then we had a quick look around the village, which was small, but cute.  They had an egg-vending machine, which was out of order unfortunately as that would have been novel to use!

It was a lazy afternoon during which we met the chap on the boat a few along who lived there, but was originally from Dunfermline, just a few miles from where I grew up in Aberdour.  He had come to France in 1974 for a year…………

The next day took us back to the mooring at the Etang du Parroy, a lovely mooring near the reservoir where we shortened a walk as thunderous clouds loomed around us and threatened a downpour.  The downpour never arrived though and we enjoyed a barbeque and a dry, if thundery, evening.

Thursday we had a date!!  Carol and Paul on Triona, who we’d met for the first time last year in Paris, were now heading along towards us and we’d arranged to meet up at Einville.  It was showery and dull as we left, but the sunflowers were being brave and beginning to show their faces.
You don't see many sheep at all in France, so this wee gang snacking on the towpath warranted a photo.

Sunflowers trying to brighten a dull day
It was fantastic to see Paul and Carol and Ollie the dog again and after enjoying a mug of tea, then some champagne and nibbles we left Paul to go and get the dinner ready, Carol to take Ollie a walk and I headed into town for some goodies from the bakers and stamps from the post office.
Enjoying dinner al fresco just before the heavens opened and we had to run for it back to the boat!
Needless to say, the night was a big one and I believe it was just gone 1.30am when Paul and Carol staggered home. 
And so, it was with fuzzy heads and, for me, queasy stomach, we parted ways the next morning leaving Paul and Carol to go back to bed, and I nursed what I reckon is the worst hangover I’ve ever had.  We counted up 8 empty bottles and I knew this hangover would be at least a two-day-er………..

We did a long day despite this and by lunchtime, a tea, a coffee, a croissant and several glasses of water (sipped) I was feeling back to myself but tired.  We cruised to the outskirts of Nancy, topped up diesel and food supplies at the Intermarche, then turned back to the junction where we took a right onto the embranchement that would take us onto the Canal des Vosges.
 
A sign indicating our way south

And we take a right......

It was surprising how quickly Nancy’s outskirts disappeared and were replaced by countryside and two locks later we moored up to enjoy a barbeque.  Around 7pm a little boat pulled in behind us and was the little dutch barge ‘Heureusement’.  Spotting an attractive young French girl in bikini bottoms on board, Mike quickly went to say hello and have a chat.  Sometimes he can move really fast……………..  It was mother and daughter, Benedicte and Coline on board and Coline had just bought the boat and they were taking it down to Chalon-sur-Saone.
Heureseument in the background - not to mention the thunderous clouds!
They were away ahead of us by the time we woke up the next morning, but had left a courgette on our deck with a little note, saying it was from Coline’s garden – very sweet.

We set off up the flight of the embranchement and at the summit pulled over for a quick, sneaky pumpout before the last few locks taking us down on to the Vosges.  
It's a proper flight on the embranchement with the locks close enough to walk between.  The locks were also very deep so I was walking on with the rope which I then dropped down to Mike to attach to the boat again.  This saved me climbing the ladders....


At the end of the embranchement, we turn left - now heading properly south on the Canal des Vosges :)


At the bottom Heureseument was moored up, so we shouted thanks for the gift and carried on to the town of Richardmenil, where we hoped a bar would be showing the England v Sweden game.  The first restaurant didn’t have a tv, the second was closed and the tabac was in the final stages of being renovated into a house….. so we headed back to the boat resigned to listening on the radio as we couldn’t get a decent enough internet signal to watch the tv.  Mike however, had spotted a Union Jack flying from the boat at the end of the Quay, so went to see if by chance they were watching the match.  They were, and Pam and Dave on Lea XXXXX (I can’t remember the last bit of the name of their boat!!) kindly invited us to join them.  Mike had taken some beers but after Thursday night, I was still on soft drinks, much to Dave’s disgust, and Dave very kindly provided some nibbles in the form of home made bread with beef and fruit cake and cheese – delicious!  We enjoyed the match and it was really nice to meet Pam and Dave, good company.

After all the excitement it was time for an early night so we battened down the hatches and slept like babies.
The cute port at Richardmenil with Pam and Dave right at the far end.


This  lovely little 'passerelle' (footbridge) is over 100 years old and having survived two world wars eventually fell into disrepair and was closed in the early 2000s.  In 2011, however, VNF realised its importance; connecting walkways to the Moselle River and it was designed by an intern of Eiffell.  So they took it away and completely restored it bringing it back into use :)

 






Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Lutzelbourg to Strasbourg (With a bit of Saverne in between!)

The EU Parliament - must mean we're in Strasbourg!!!

The thing about being a bit behind with the blog is I forget things and omitted to share the tale of Mike’s Magnificent Duckling Rescue in the previous post.  So here it is…… 

On the third lock of four after the inclined plane and going to Lutzelbourg, the boat with the English family on board had pulled over for a lunch stop and the lock seemed to have stuck.  They’re in a chain here and don’t cope well with people stopping unexpectedly.  We pulled in behind them and were soon joined by the hire boat we’d been sharing with.  I could hear a strange sound as we sat, which sounded at first like some sort of automated voice and I wondered if it was something to do with the lock.  Further investigation, however, revealed a mother duck with two ducklings, calling and calling and moving around quite frantically.  I headed straight for the overflow just above the lock and lying on the ground, lent in and sure enough, there were three peepers (ducklings) trapped in there, probably washed in by an approaching boat……..  I went back to the boat to get our fishing net (or rather, pigeon-recuing net) and told Mike, who came back with me, taking the net in hand.  By this time the lock was ready, and the English family had finished their lunch and decided to go on.  We told the boat we’d shared with to go on ahead with them whilst we sorted the ducks out.  Mike quickly got on his belly and whilst I stuck a hand down to frighten them from slipping past him, he scooped each one up in the net and plopped it back over the breakwater over the sluice and into the canal.  The other two boats just had time to see the rescue completed before they locked down and cheered Mike’s efforts. The ducklings, on the other hand, were a bit rude and didn’t stop to thank him but ran straight over to their mummy and two siblings and she gave them a right telling off.  Whilst we waited for the lock to reset for us a wee sail boat came along with a lovely dutch couple aboard who we shared with the rest of the way to Lutzelbourg.

Now, back to this entry (which is still a bit behind, but I don't think I've missed anything)…… We left Lutzelbourg on Tuesday 19th June and sharing with a hire boat had a very pleasant trip down to Saverne.
I just love the scenery of Alsace

The lock down into Saverne is a deep one, and right in the middle of town!

Not a bad view from our pontoon mooring at Saverne - 18 euros a night including water and electric.
Once moored up, as we were paying for water and power, I stripped the bed and started doing laundry, with the first lot out and drying by the time we set off for a walk after lunch.  We walked up to Chateau Haut Bar, which is a ruined hilltop castle with spectacular views, which turned out to be a bit longer than we had bargained for at a10km round trip.  But it was lovely and we rewarded ourselves back in town with a two-scoop ice-cream in the square.  Saverne is lovely and very German feeling.
Walking into town we passed this cute little set-up for the World Cup

Many of the post-boxes in France have two slots; the left for items for the region you are in, the right for everywhere else.  I've often thought it's probably a waste of time having the two as the posties probably empty them into the one sack.  But seeing this one being emptied, I see I was wrong!

Pretty Saverne's Grand Rue

A very modern war memorial in the red Vosges sandstone

Stunning views from Haut Bar where you could just make out the steeple of the cathedral in Strasbourg

Mike was so happy he did a jump!  (And his knees are still recovering.....)


This telegraph house enabled communications to go from Strasbourg to Paris.

I thought the local patisserie gave Maison Roy in Auxerre a run for its money, but Mike didn't agree.

Mike in his element with his feathered friends
We were staying two nights at Saverne so on Wednesday I continued with my laundry marathon and cleaned the inside of the boat thoroughly, the most frustrating part being trying to wash the squashed flies off the ceiling that Mike had had a swat-fest with several nights prior!  We then did a big shop at the local Super U and then began preparing dinner as Steve and Anna were on their way back from Strasbourg so we said we’d make them dinner that evening.  The day was hot and Quaintrelle got hotter and hotter as Mike was cooking.  Mike has a heat-measuring system for the boat; Defcom 1 is that it is hot enough to open all the windows, defcom 2 means the parasol goes up, defcom 3 sees it hot enough to switch our fans on.  Well, this day, we reached a new Defcom 4 when the grouting in the shower cracked vertically – it was so hot, the stell shell of the boat had expanded enough to pull the tiles apart and crack the grouting!  Not to worry though, it closed up again when it cooled down.  Anyway, being on Defcom 4, we aborted dinner on our boat and took the food round to Steve and Anna’s to try out their air conditioning and then eat out on the airy back deck as the sun disappeared.

It was a slightly more frustrating trip to Hochfelden the next day as the chain of locks failed for us three times when passing other boats – they don’t seem to cope with that – and we had to call VNF and wait for them to open gates for us.  So we were relieved to reach our rural mooring there and as the sun was out and we had a nice full tank of water, we decided to give Quaintrelle a wash.  The port at Saverne has dust paths and she was covered in a layer of it.  As we relaxed on the front deck later, Mike got his second mention in two weeks on Radio 6 Music as a runner up on Tea Time Theme Time – fame at last!!!
 
Before leaving Saverne, we gave Anna our camera and reversed up to get a shot of us in front of the Palais de Rohan, which now houses a school, museum and cultural area.  Nice to see a grand old building being used.

Some very large trucks go over some very small bridges!

Accompanied by our seemingly constant companion for the last few days, a lightly gusting wind, we pushed off sharpish on Friday 22nd and made good progress into Strasbourg, welcomed by the EU Parliament Building sitting in all its empty grandeur.
Quaintrelle, Mike and the EU Parliament building

I suppose this could have been one option for us getting up the Rhine........

Our first sighting of the huge river cruise ships.
It was late afternoon when we arrived so we decided just to have a lazy evening and get settled in and be ready to explore the next morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  We had booked into the marina for four nights, so were really having a little city-break to ourselves and what a wonderful city to have it in.  We absolutely loved Strasbourg.

We walked into town which took about 40 minutes and our first port of call was the Tourist Office, where we purchased a three-day city pass to do the touristy things and a ‘Trio’ tram ticket, that once validated gives 2-3 people unlimited travel on the trams and buses for 24 hours from validation – excellent value at 6,80 euros.

Out of the tourist office and into the Batorama office, as no trip to Strasbourg would be complete without a boat trip and it was included in our pass!
The Petit France area with its little roof windows.  So called as the area was quarantined off in days gone by for syphilis.....

One of the splendid Strasbourg churches

Busman's holiday.........

Enjoying the trams :)

EU Parly

Lovely light hallway inside the building

The debating chamber.  When not in session there are about 300 people in the building; security, cleaners, admin, tour guides, but when in session goes up to thousands.
After the boat trip we took the tram up to the EU Parliament as there was an English tour on at 3pm, free and you just pitch up at the gate.  It is an absolutely gorgeous building and it was an interesting tour although the one question several people had (including a German and a Pole and an Englishman) was, why does it just get used for 4 days a month?  Yes, that’s right.  This mahoosive, beautiful building sits empty for 26 (or 27) days a month while the MEPs are at Brussels or working from their constituencies and is only used for sessions for 4 days (Mon-Thur), 12 times a year.  When probed why this is the case, the guide had the decency to look embarrassed as she explained that all members would have to agree for everything to be done in Brussels and of course, France won’t agree cos it wants to keep Strasbourg!!  It’s a shocking waste of a building, really quite obscene – and sad – it should be used for other things while it’s empty!!

Anyway, from there we headed back to the boat via tram finding our way through the city and our changes very easily, and relaxed for the evening on the front deck.
A little weedcutter boat cleaning the canal past our mooring

And the big boat sheds across the way is where the trip boats sleep and made for a quite lovely evening view.
On Sunday 24th (my mum and dad’s wedding anniversary – bless)(and our anniversary for leaving Weedon for the first time on Quaintrelle in 2014!), we were up and out sharp as we had a Segway tour booked at 10.30.  We had done a Segway tour in Avignon in 2016 and really enjoyed it, it’s a great way to see a place and good fun as well, so when we saw our city pass gave us 30% discount, we were happy to part with 77euros for a two hour tour with Banu, which ended up being two hours and twenty minutes!
Me and our guide Banu - oh!!!! That's Vaudan's Barrage in the background, I didn't think we had a photo of it!


The area where the tanneries were.

And of course, Strasbourg is the birthplace of the Gutenberg Press, and here is Mr Gutenberg himself :)

There are lots of really pretty carousels throughout the city.

Yes, that building again.....
After the tour, we hopped on a tram (still within our 24 hour period for our Trio ticket), and made our way to a pub we had eye-balled the previous day for watching England’s first match.  We needed some lunch first so stopped at the Auberge de Telegraphe where we both had the burger menu (burger, fries, small beer) for the princely sum of 8,50 each, and jolly good it was too.  When the waiter asked us if we wanted coffee or desert, we said no, as we were going to watch the football.  “Oh, we have a big screen inside, you can watch it here if you want!” We needed no further invitation and took ourselves inside where they pulled down the large screen taking up a whole wall and switched on the football for us.  In between serving us and other customers the two young waiters (the owner’s sons) would come over and chat and see what the score is, and at four goals said if they got five, we could have a free whisky!!  They were so lovely, very welcoming, originally from Kurdistan the elder son has just bought a wreck of a house in the woods with no electricity! 
Not least because of the outstanding score, we really enjoyed our afternoon at the Auberge and would recommend it if you want a good, quick lunch, or somewhere just to enjoy a drink and watch the world go by.  It was just a nice, family owned and run business which we always enjoy.

Having stopped briefly at Vaudan’s Barrage on the Segways the previous day, on Monday we decided to take ourselves back there and walk across it.  So after a bit of a lie-in, and pancakes and bacon for breakfast, we bought another tram ticket and headed off into town again.  Whilst I got photos from it, I realise I didn’t take any photos of the Barrage itself…….photo fail!!! (Correction, see Segway shot above!).


It's not a stretch of water I'd want to take a bunch of kids in canoes on.  The river Ile runs through Strasbourg and has quite a flow on it.


After a nice lunch at Oncle Freddy’s restaurant, we headed to the Cathedral and used our city pass to gain entry to the flight of stairs (350+) that would take us up to the viewing platform.
Quaintrelle is over there in the middle somewhere behind the grey highrises.

I love the characteristic roofs of Strasbourg with the window and vents in them.
We stayed at the top quite a while, cos we were knackered and couldn’t face the journey down until we’d had a wee seat…………

Once back on ground level we headed to the Museum D’Alsace which is a group of old houses that were taken over to be preserved and restored in the Alsacian way.  It was really interesting as the Alsace area has gone between being French and German several times and as such, whereas France is mainly Catholic, this area has a mix of Catholic and Protestant.  As such, there is a rule that church buildings can be used for both Catholic and Protestant worship.  So even today, in little villages, the Protestant service will be in the village church at 9am and the Catholic one at 10!  Can you imagine that happening in the UK?
 
Lovely little courtyard at the Museum d'Alsace

The pharmacie as it would have been.

Cute doorbell!

Another busy day completed as was our time in Strasbourg.  We loved this city.  It’s very different, very European and very pretty and we will definitely visit again.

And so it was with some reluctance that we pushed off on Tuesday morning to head back the way we came.  As we said goodbye to the capitaine, he asked if we were going on the Rhine, and I was almost tempted to say, “Yes!” and take the risk, but we said no, the flow would be too much for our boat and he agreed.  So we did the right thing and turned left as we left and headed in a westward direction back to Hochfelden.
Pretty mosque as we head back out of Strasbourg

A new mooring that is not in our canal-guide book but one of the nicest we've had - Hochleden.