After leaving Lutzelbourg on Monday the 17th of June around 11:30AM and having negotiated just one or two locks we saw this lovely house, partly hidden by an abundance of foliage. Most of the times we are able to resist the temptation of publishing pictures of houses next to locks as there are such a lot of them. But this one is sooooo romantic!
Some 10 locks and 4 hours later we arrived at Saverne where the, obviously clever, harbour-people created a space exclusively for vessels measuring 15,5 meters or over. Bingo!, we are over 18 meters (31 centimeters, to be exact) so we could claim this fancy spot – just opposite ‘Le Château des Rohan’. We were charged a bit over EUR 11,00 for it – electricity and water included. ‘Could be worse’, we thought.
Saverne is a place well worth visiting. But this blog is mainly about an even more interesting city, being Strasbourg. So this time we have to limit ourselves to only one picture – coincidentaly of the restaurant where we had a lovely dinner. Al fresco, it was plain hot during the day and pleasantly warm in the evening.
The next day, Tuesday the 18th we moved on again. To a place called Hochfelden this time, where we arrived at 2:30PM after 3,5 hours and having descended 10 locks. Nothing special today, apart from the temperature. When we prayed for better weather we did not mean a genuine heat wave…..
The last leg before reaching Strasbourg started on Wednesday, the 19th of June, 9:15AM. On the way we were accompanied by a swan couple. Not all that special normally, we agree, but this time it was inside a lock. They obviously wanted to go down, too, and seemed to be used to it as they remained absolutely unfazed by the presence of our boat.
One of the first landmarks that becomes visible when approaching Strasbourg from the north-west by boat is the building of the European Parliament. Prestigious, futuristic, costly, in short: EC in optima forma.
On the other side of the same building we are told: ‘Your peace, your prize!’ in any EC-language. Does that mean something like: no nagging about the money, we have given you peace? Well, it’s not easy to remain silent when austerity seems the magic word wherever one looks, listens or reads, bar the elite endlessly traveling between Strasbourg (‘the capital of Europe’), Brussels and Luxembourg.
Here our floating home is moored at Strasbourg at 1:30PM, 10 locks down from our last mooring. For an eye watering price of EUR 41,00 per night, fortunately electricity and water included. It is an expensive city, demonstrated by this price – and the facilities for pleasure boats are limited. Temperature today: 37C (100F?)! In the shadow, that is!!! It reminded us of a holiday we once had in the USA and crossing Death Valley (CA) by motor bike. Drinking a lot – never feeling the need to use the bathroom. Get the picture? Hot, hot, hot.
The 20th of June, a Thursday, was the first day of sightseeing Strasbourg. Our choice to begin with was Strasbourg’s Cathedral. This is the picture one gets when approaching this huge single-towered building - 142 meters, 475 feet, the highest in France.
The magnificent front of Strasbourg’s Cathedral. The building of it took four centuries and its finishing touch, the tower, was completed in 1439.
The organ inside Strasbourg’s Cathedral. An absolute beauty!
And then there is this marvel of science and technology inside the Cathedral, an astronomical clock designed during the Reformation. A genuine crowd awaits every half hour (quarter?) the movements and sounds of this magical colossus.
Our second choice for that day: a round trip by boat. Yes, by boat, although we live permanently on one - be it a slightly different design. The boat itself proved to be worthy of a picture, if only for its, sorry: her, name. The price of EUR 9,60 per head and her capacity of approaching 150 people seems to make it good business. Having said that, the weather is not always as gorgeous as it was on this particular day. The pleasant circumstances made our choice between a covered and an open boat an easy one.
And there we go, hugely enjoying the views from the water. Strasbourg is a perfect mix of French and German influences in the past. A lot of times the ‘ownership’ changed from France to Germany and vice versa. The current of the river Ill was pretty strong, so on occasion we admired the skills of the guy in command and told him so afterwards. He was genuinely pleased.
Isn’t this a lovely kept café – or perhaps ‘konditorei’? It’s very obvious everywhere one looks that Strasbourg is a prosperous city, historic, pretty, well kept, clean, full of activity and ‘joie de vivre’.
A lock always keeps its magic, even for us. The boat did two of them, one up and one down. Just for the fun of it, one might think – and fun it is. This picture, as the two previous ones, gives a good impression of the omnipresent half timbered houses dominating the old city centre.
The final and coincidental attraction of the round trip was a swan couple with cygnets. The little ones had all taken place on the back of one of their parents. Cute!
Our dear family member left us on Friday the 21st. Initially we planned to leave Strasbourg immediately after saying good bye, but we felt we had to give in to Strasbourg’s delights one more day. After arranging an extra night with the owner of the marina we returned to downtown Strasbourg, did some walking, sightseeing, had a drink and generally enjoyed the atmosphere, before deciding to have dinner. The occasion left us room for just one choice: sauerkraut (‘choucroute’). It offered us all we hoped for – the picture is a sure proof of that!
That evening, because of the solstice perhaps, the city was one big partying community. Ideal weather, merry people, relaxed atmosphere, music; it happens that one’s lucky to be at the right place on the right time.
One of the huge stages, this one on Place Kléber.
And a band just somewhere in a street – it was all there.
Finally, on Saturday the 22nd of June, we left Strasbourg around 1:00PM. We learned to love this absolutely attractive, beautiful, historical city. Go there if you can! This time of course we climbed the locks again, but only two of them. On the journey towards Strasbourg we noticed a few attractive mooring spaces and one of them is the one you see. The attractiveness is undoubtedly enlarged by the name of the place: Souffelweyersheim. Try to pronounce this without breaking your tongue! We hope to be able to be here for three nights and are planning to clean the wheelhouse thoroughly and oil him/her/it on the outside. Salut!