Once again we were captivated by the charm of Metz and stayed for an extra night. What more can you wish for than the serenity of lake Saulcy, now minus the Sunday crowds, the old city centre at arms length and a free English paper delivery, compliments of our lovely, multilingual neighbours Georg and Viviane from Luxembourg.

For two days we retraced our steps from 2014 along the diverse tourist walks (click here). We also discovered new areas, like the “Outre Seille” with the impressive “Porte des Allemands”, the German gate, and Saint Segolene Church with it's copy of Michelangelo’s “Pieta".

On the Italian style Place St. Louis we enjoyed a typical french lunch among wine drinking and cigarette smoking locals. It was warm enough to sit outdoors, so we didn’t mind the occasional waft of smoke.

Naturally, we had to re-visit the covered market - after all, we don’t live from baguette alone! In there it was all 'tongue and cheek’ which made us aim straight for the greengrocers.

The shopping done, showered and groomed, we continued our trip down the Moselle. We found ourselves at the mercy of some huge commercial barges sliding into the locks in front of us and making us wait until the lock refilled again! But in one of the locks we got our revenge! When creeping into the lock behind one of the giant carriers, we had great trouble finding a suitable fixture to tie up to, so barge and lock-keeper had to wait until we finally succeeded. One of those embarrassing situations even experienced canal boaters have to suffer occasionally.

Eventually we made it to Thionville and moored at the central city wharf. The current here is strong and there are some security issues, but the advantage is the closeness to city and shops. However we did lock up extra well, after an elderly German couple told us, that they woke up from noise in the middle of the night only to find a group of youth partying on the deck of their boat.

As there was no sign of the predicted rain, Jane and I joined the Thionville café scene.

We needed our strength after looking at every jacket that Thionville boutiques had to offer. Jane started to work herself through down jackets, progressing to leather, until she finally exclaimed “Oh, I do look great in this one, I have to say!” while twirling around in a 3/4 length mink coat.

It did look really good and I wished I had made a photo! By the way, for the animal lovers among you, we left the 2200.-eu coat in the shop.

Here are some art examples of local schools found around the old flea tower:

A doll made solely out of plastic water bottles and flower arrangements with styrofoam butterflies. Good recycling, I think.

© Austin Robinson 2019