Since leaving Luxembourg we haven’t travelled far. We are back in Schweich near Trier, just around the corner from Luxembourg -so to speak. The Schweich marina is inviting and shares the facilities with a large caravan park. It also has a lovely restaurant/cafe frequented by cyclists, walkers and campers. 

Best of all, there is a large shipyard -  a good thing too as it worked out!

As we were powering along the Mosel, Captain Austin’s nose was twitching.”I smell diesel!” he exclaimed. "What else is new!” I responded, knowing that diesel is what our boat runs on.

As it was, once we had stopped at Schweich, Austin detected a definite leak of diesel into the motor oil, the cause being some missing washers off the injectors. And that wasn’t all! Since a recent overhaul of the motor was done during winter, some other things went missing too. It seems that our boat is haunted or maybe it’s "the curse of the black pearl”? Some pirate ghosts had definitely raided our bilge!

So here we were waiting for parts and for warmer temperatures. 

On a positive note: we met up with Lucy and Max, friends of Jan and Bill's we met in Toul last year. Their boat "Kiwi Rose” was still in dry dock and needed a check from the diesel mechanic. Unfortunately Kiwis are not as tough as us Aussies and so a couple of days ago, they fled the cool weather and took off to Mykonos for a week.

Having plenty of time ourselves, we decided to visit the town of Saarbrücken by train.

The 19th century town hall took us in immediately. We were lucky: a wonderful lady from the tourist office snuck us into the “Festhalle” (Celebration Hall) of the building. Over a 1000 weddings are held here each year, and just as we approached a freshly married couple in their traditional costume was coming out.

In the afternoon a few sun beams were piercing through the clouds and we decided to stop at Mettlach to walk up to a viewpoint which overlooks one of the most picturesque Saar loops. Luckily, as we started off, we didn’t know how far the walk was or how steep the rise! But the view was all worth it. 

I don’t know what it is with us and weddings! Not only is our daughter Lisa in the throws of getting married, but whether it is in the Basilica of Montserrat, the Cathedral of Luxembourg or at the Crown Palace in Trier, we seem to be the itinerant bystanders to these celebrations!

Trier is only a short bus ride away from Schweich and we used the first warm and sunny day to peruse the Saturday market and stroll through the centre of the oldest town of Germany, established by Augustus in 16 BC.

By the way, it is asparagus time in Germany, that means it is obligatory to have asparagus with almost every meat or fish - or on its own. 

Restaurants in Germany have a special “Asparagus menu” at this time of the year. Austin is convinced that the obsession with asparagus is a German phallus thing!

© Austin Robinson 2019