Mulhouse et Malheur 


Well, you might aswell throw eggs in our faces - we are wearing them well!

Our re-conditioned prop is not in peak condition anymore! Someone has put rocks into our way again! 

I have the feeling, Pam and Angus knew why they gave us the “Imperative Actions" plaque.

(see left)

On a serious note: the Doubs river is very tricky with lots of sandbanks and shallows. It's worse this year with the water levels in rivers and canals being very low . It’s a small comfort to know that we are not the only ones roughing up our prop. Here, at the mechanics in Mulhouse, they have many boats come in with the same problem.

IMG 1576

Luckily the Pro'Bateaux people have a ramp and with a suitable trailer-lifter they pulled us out of the water in no time - and oh, malheur (sh*t)! Look at that! 

It looks more like a wilted iris than a prop!

Now minus our prop we are back in the water and close to the boat ramp where we can watch all the action. An older swiss boat, whose owners are having a late start to the boating season, followed us down the ramp on the lifting trailer. 

It wasn’t to be! Shortly after the Swiss owners and friends had loaded suitcases and perishables onto their boat they noticed a leak in the water tank. Without hesitation the Pro’Bateaux staff hauled the boat back out and had a welder standing ready to fix the problem. And this just at the time when the Switzerland : Argentina soccer game was starting. We offered our television- poor me had to watch yet another world cup match (yeah!!)- and introduced them to G & Ts. They needed it!

Today we heard from Francois, the owner, that a suitable prop for our boat had been found and will be here next Tuesday. 


This gives us plenty of time to discover Mulhouse (pronounced “Mool-ooze”).


Only a 2km bike ride away, the old centre of the city was buzzing. Market stalls of diverse wares were set up throughout the lanes and on the Place de la Réunion. Here the decoratively painted town hall celebrates the réunion of Alsace with France.

Mulhouse has a turbulent history. Belonging to Switzerland in 1515 - 1648 it then was an independent city until absorbed into France in 1798. After the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 France had to cede the Alsace to the German Kaiser, but the region was returned to France after the defeat of Germany in WWI. In 1940 to 1944 under the Nazi regime it again became part of Germany. Most people, especially the older generation, still speak German and regard themselves as “Alsatians”.

Enough history! The rest of the town is very much about progress, technology and museums.


We are planning to see the "Schlumpf Brothers Car Collection Museum", just to round off my automobile education. Austin will owe me big time and will have to do some serious shopping with me at the next opportunity!  

Can someone please tell me if the Schlümpfe (in English “Smurfs”) originated here from the name “Schlumpf"? Or is it coincidental that I saw these little creatures in front of a flowershop in Mulhouse?

© Austin Robinson 2019