Souffelweyersheim - Saverne

There are two reasons why we bring in mind how far we traveled this year up till now. The first being fairly obvious: perhaps you are interested. The second is more trivial: as we are making the return trip from Strasbourg to Nancy we already pointed out most of the subjects we encounter for the second time. That does not, repeat: not, alter the fact that everything looks different from another angle, influenced by different weather conditions, a changed mood – that sort of things. This is a scan of a part of our journey in 2013. The next scan will give you a more detailed explanation.

On scan number one our place of departure, Moret-sur-Loing – some 70 kilometers south-east of Paris, is indicated by an arrow. We left on the 2nd of April, followed La Petite Seine for a relative short distance and continued on L’Yonne to go to Laroche-Migennes for maintenance. After a week we continued on Le Canal de Bourgogne, passing Dijon and ending up on La Petite Saône. We now go to scan number two. We followed La Petite Saône as far as Corre after wich town the river is no longer navigable. Next stage: Le Canal des Vosges towards Nancy. After that we headed east towards Strasbourg on Le Canal de la Marne au Rhin. We visited Strasbourg (great!) and are now on the way back, today reaching Saverne. We cruised roughly a 1.000 kilometers and did a countless number of locks. It is the idea to give you more exact numbers at the end of the cruising season.

Saturday the 22nd of June we ended up in a place with the unforgettable name of Souffelweyersheim. Who would not love to be able to say ‘I live in Souffelweyersheim!’? ‘Where did you say??’ ‘In Souffelweyersheim’. And so on…. It proved to be a lovely spot. And the police is collecting the mooring fee, too! We stayed there for three nights and started the horrible job of cleaning the wheelhouse, rubbing it down –both thoroughly- and applying new layers of oil. Danish oil, to be precise, although we haven’t got the faintest idea what the part ‘Danish’ has to do with it. This picture shows our ‘main entrance’, on the upper side already one layer of oil supplied; the lower side still, again if you like, bare wood. The hole is for a cat flap. We haven’t got one.

After the three nights in Souf….. we left on Tuesday the 25th at 7:55AM sharp. Lucky us, the police did not show up on Sunday (of course not, they have to go to the church), nor on Monday. Minutes after we left, we were told afterwards, a member of Le Gendarmerie showed up to collect the money. That made a difference of (2 x € 9,60) € 19,20 in our favour. In case someone wonders why we did not bring the money: we don’t know where/how and do not feel the urge to investigate it! Three locks and two hours later we moored at (Le Forêt de) Brumath and later on were accompanied by a huge beautiful Dutch-built ship named ‘Ria’. This ship is owned by a Swiss couple who bought the hull as a pile of unloved rust. They refurbished the ship extensively inside and out, in Harlingen, Friesland – The Netherlands, and now this is what it looks like. She still has ‘Harlingen’ painted on the stern, next to the Frisian flag –with the ‘pompeblêden’- proudly flying from the bow.

We stayed again for three nights, this time in Brumath, partly because we are not in a hurry at all, next to the facts that the maintenance of the wheelhouse had to be finished and we were planning to clean and polish the dark(er) blue painted parts of our ship. (We try to abandon the habit of calling her ‘a boat’.) The Wednesday a party of two women and two men tried to distract us by swimming next to us in their Adam and Eve outfit. Swimming in the canal! Yuck! We decently concentrated on the job and this photograph shows the result after the first layer using a cloth and the second using a brush. We think it looks very, very neat.

Friday 28 June it was time to leave Brumath and we did so at 10:30AM. On the way we passed this house, very well kept and with an intriguing painting on the side. (We photographed it on the way up, but the exposure was sub-standard. Yes, we have our values.) No idea what it means, if anything, apart from the fact that the theme ‘stork’ is a recurring one in this area, in paintings as well as reality.

Just an example of the country side we are hugely enjoying looking at. No further comment needed.

That evening we moored at Hochfelder – again, see the 18th. We had cruised for 2,5 hours and tackled 5 locks. You can imagine that we think nothing of such an easy day! Because of the ‘tradition’ to show you a picture of our moorings this one cannot be lacking. Taken from another angle solves the problem…..

The commercial boats (not: ships) have a length (‘longeur’) of 39,5 meters – or just a handful centimeters more. This has to do with the size of the locks. They fit more or less exactly in them, seemingly almost to the point of becoming jammed. The canal is provided with turning ‘holes’ at certain places. There is one next to where we were at Hochfelder. Here you see one turning, letting the front of the boat slide along the bank at the same time using both full rudder and full throttle.

Today, Sunday the 30th of June, we left uneventful Hochfelder at 8:35AM after having been there for two nights. On the way to our present mooring we saw a lot of storks (there they are again!) in the fields. We think we counted some 25 of them. This picture shows some of them, grazing(?) the fields. Because of the distance we had to blow it up but we think it is worth showing anyway.

Another view we could not resist photographing. Just a little village alongside the tranquil Canal de la Marne au Rhin. The village is called Ingenheim – just for the record. We think the countryside is just lovely.

Moored at Saverne for the second time, on Sunday after 10 locks and a little short of 4 hours of slowly moving forward. We had kept in contact with our new Swiss friends on ‘Ria’ and therefore knew that we could moor alongside their ship in case every space was occupied. Well, in fact every space was occupied and the picture shows the result. They are planning to leave tomorrow morning around 7:00AM to be well ahead of the so called ‘tupperware boats’. This expression describes the (plastic) hire boats, without any idea how to behave in general and especially how to behave in a lock. ‘Ria’ has not a lot of problems with them in the locks because of her length of 29,5 meters, leaving practically no room for a second boat. We, sailing a ship of only 18,3 meters, have had some less congenial experiences with other boats in locks, private boats not excepted. As you’ll understand this picture luckily does not fully dwarf our ship next to our neighbours’ one. We’ve tried to make the photo as advantageous for ‘Hebbes’ as possible. Photographing is a serious job!

Last week the picture of the Saverne mooring had Le Château des Rohan in the background. It would be a little bit boring to do the same this time, wouldn’t it? Well, there is reason to picture it again though. Today the weather was fine and a huge market was going on. Even from our side of the canal it was clearly visible that the crowd was absolutely enjoying itself. A bientôt!