Strépy Thieu Boatlift

Mon Dieu! Strépy Thieu -  what a boat lift! It was the biggest one in the world until the “Three Gorges Dam boat lift” in Cina was completed at the beginning of 2016. 

While last year was coined the “Year of the Tunnels” having traversed 9 tunnels all together, this year was the “Year of the Boatlifts”. 

Austin and Peter were excited, while Marcia and I took it all in our stride.

We stayed 1 night in the adjoining boat harbour of Thieu. The 4 old boat lifts next to the new big one are heritage protected and can be used on request. Unfortunately, during the week only the fourth one is available to boaters. We lined up bright and early the next morning to climb it. A huge hydraulic cylinder lifts the boat cages. Opening, closing, water addition and deduction, all is managed manually. So are the lift - and turning bridges in between the lifts. Leaving the first lift one has a wonderful view over the new and modern lift which is now replacing the 4 old ones and raising boats by 73.15m. I personally was more taken by the old lift, being able to look down over the area while rising and hearing the staff shouting commands to each other while working wheels and levers to make it all happen.

After a long waiting time to climb and then again before descending the big modern boat lift we returned on the Canal de Centre back to Mons. See more below.

From here we left the next morning via hire car to take Marcia and Peter to one of our favourite European cities, Amsterdam.

Aerial shot of boat lift direct from YouTube

Us going up and down in Quick Time

© Austin Robinson 2019