Our Barge, Odysseus

Monday, July 26, 2010

Strasbourg July 16-21

Once again the mighty Rhine was easily navigated. There was a bit more commercial traffic so the washing machine effect was more pronounced but, since it was still very hot and more electricity was being generated by the huge hydroelectric station at each lock, the current was even stronger. On some portions Odysseus was making over 12 k per hour! We entered the river about 10 am and left it behind about 2 pm traveled until about 4:30 and found a spot in the deep shade to tie up for the night. The weather forecast had one more hot day and then thunderstorms but it was already cloudy as we went to bed. If it was hot, we'd stay put but when we got up the clouds had thickened and rain looked possible. We figured we'd travel the last 16 k into Strasbourg. We arrived a little after noon, found a spot to moor in the Bassin l'Hopital and settled in for a couple days. Our friend Inez would be joining us on Monday.

It did rain a bit on Saturday but it was sunny on Sunday. Into the city we went.
One of the first stops in the city has to be the cathedral Notre-Dame of Strasbourg. Built on the foundation of an old basilica from 1015 that later burned, the cathedral was constructed over a period of almost 300 years, from 1176 until the steeple was completed in 1439.

The stone statues around the door are intricately carved. This is the center of the three portals along the front of the cathedral.

A couple of days later we would take the 332 steps up to the porch just below the main steeple. This gave a great view over Strasbourg.

It would also give a good view of the famous "flying buttresses," a feature of all gothic cathedral. This method of reinforcing the walls let the designers add more window space, greatly illuminating the interior of the previously dark churches.

The River Ill surrounds one side of the the old city, the Canal du Faux Ramparts the other; the Canal Rhone au Rhine crosses south of the city just south of the river. Private boats are no longer allowed through the center but there are tour boats that will take you around and then up the river to where it intersects with the Canal Marne au Rhine, the next canal we'll be traveling.
Just where the river splits is an island, "Petite France", Strasbourgs most picturesque neighborhood.

After Inez arrived on Monday afternoon we decided it would be a good day for that boat trip through town.

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