Lagarde to Toul

As we approached the harbour of Lagarde, we saw a familiar boat swinging in the straps of a crane: it was the" Le Jeanne- Laurence” of our NZ friends Aileen and Grahame, oh no! An oil leak had caused their return to the home harbour. 

Lagarde is a small farming town with a busy rental boat and guest harbour. After meeting the owners and friendly capitainerie staff, we understood why Aileen and Grahame return here every year. 

Formerly Lagarde was a boarder town between Germany and France. So again, most people here are bilingual. We talked to a local farmer who was fixing a tractor his young son eagerly helping. It doesn’t matter which nationality we talk to, the same subjects seem to come up: the BREXIT, the European economy and the refugee crisis and a lot of worries about the future. Compared to this the Australian election debacle seems minor.

The unexpected reunion with our New Zealand friends was reason enough for another get-together.

Along the way from the upper Saar we had played tag with two barges, the “Friesland” and the “Fairhaven” (both Aussie owned) and we met again in Nancy - an Aussie caravan of boats. 

A day later we were back on the Moselle now showing herself from her usual calm and picturesque side and not like the brown, debris carrying torrent we saw during the floods! 

So we arrived safely back in Toul to a warm welcome by fabulous harbourmaster, Jean-Pierre, who had reserved our usual spot for us.

While the town looked wintery and sad when we first arrived in late April, now every corner of the city is adorned with colourful flowerbeds. The rose garden next to the cathedral has been finished emitting a sweet fragrance.

Inspired by the clean, fresh buzz in town and summer sunshine we went to task to wash the grime of 10 weeks travel and dirty floodwaters off the Freshwater. Luckily Stephen and Kim on the” Friesland" arrived and gave us an excuse to take a break and have a welcome drink. 

This years spectacle lumière at the cathedral of Toul.

© Austin Robinson 2019