Expect the unexpected!

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Have I mentioned before that on the canals nothing goes by plan? 


when we plan to do some work on the boat - it is usually too hot!

When planning to loose some weight - a blueberry flan stares at us!

Now for this year we planned to go to Strasbourg, take a sharp left into the Canal de la  Marne au Rhin, climb on the Arzviller Boatlift then continue on to the Saar and Mosel. The lift was broken down last year and many boats had to turn back, but in May this year it was finally re-opened. We were very excited about travelling up the 44.55m incline plane. 

Watch this video:

But, leaving Breisach a friendly man from Basel told us that the lift had broken down yet again. I called the French Waterways Authority and learned that the lift won’t be fixed before the end of this year!

A captain and crew meeting was required and here is what we came up with: 1. Taking it extremely easy! 2. Staying longer in Colmar and Strasbourg. 3. From Strasbourg continuing on down the Rhein River and hoping that the current carries us to Koblenz from where a sharp left turn will take us into the Mosel.

The good news was: our friend Jane has announced her arrival for the 4.8. in Strasbourg, yeah!! And some more good news: our friends from Munich will catch up with us soon as well! Yippee!! 


In the meantime, we haven’t just sat on our behinds. As a matter of fact, sitting is currently difficult. I had the feeling that Austin is training me up for the next Tour de France as he chased me another 20km along the canal to Kunheim and 20 km back again. But there is a good mooring spot at Kunheim which is quiet and cheap and has a “Superette” (a little supermarket) right across the bridge. A nice young Man, called Hicham, runs it. He makes excellent coffee, sells fresh bread, croissants and all sorts of grocery items.

Back in Colmar we had a lovely last night with New Zealanders Kay and Tony, Trish and Dave on the “Bliss”. Are there any Kiwis left in NZ ?- we don’t think so!

We left at lunchtime the next day and moored at Kunheim where we enjoyed the tranquility, the twitter of birds and the gurgling water from an old sidearm of the canal.

Our backsides were soon rested enough to cycle from Kunheim to the twin town of Breisach. "Neuf Brisach” , as it is called, is on the UNESCO world heritage list. Here Louis XIV instructed his master architect, Vauban, to built a fort. 

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The star-like construction of two massive walls was meant to hold the Austrian Empire at bay. To walk through these “remparts” is quite impressive.

We biked back along the old canal which is lined by wild blue and yellow plum trees, apple trees and blackberry bushes. Some of the fruit were ripe enough and quite delicious. In other areas of the canal there are walnut trees, regularly raided by locals and bike riders alike.


Tomorrow we intend to cruise back to the marine of Neuf Brisach where Austin, since our last visit, has become quite a “legend”! Or, at least some of the “boaties" thought so, after he jumped into the 20 degree water and through persistent diving and combing through muddy weeds retrieved the water tank cap of Robs boat, “Beau Jolie". 

I try not to encourage his heroics as he nearly knocked himself out hitting his head on the pontoon in the current. 

© Austin Robinson 2019