Our Barge, Odysseus

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

To Nancy - Aug. 2-5

Since we had cleared the boat lift we were at the "top" of the Canal de la Marne au Rhine; we had completed the climb up from the Rhine, we would now begin the decent toward the Marne. We would not be going all the way to the Marne, we would be turning north on the Mosell River just after the city of Nancy. Leaving the valley of the Zorn River, we set off across what we thought looked like the American Great Plains; rolling hills and lots of agriculture. And the summit pound, the space between "up" locks and "down" locks is really long, about 24 km. We went all of Monday without going through a lock. The first lock on Tuesday made up for it, though. Part of the improvements to speed commercial traffic in the 1960's, along with the boat lift, was the elimination of six locks with a single one at Rechicourt le Chateau. This meant that our first "down" lock would drop us 16 meters, about 50 ft.

An aerial shot of the lock complex from a nearby sign board. The lock is full for boats going down.

A hire boat gets ready to make fast it's lines for the ride up.

Once that hurdle was completed it was on to our next stop, the marina and hire boat base in Lagarde. We had stopped by this place on our way to France when we were first looking for a boat to buy and thought it looked like a possibility for winter storage sometime in the future. It is out in the middle of nowhere but the people are very friendly, speak excellent English and we kind of like being in the middle of nowhere. It also gives us the option of retracing the trip back and forth from Saverne next year if we want. We made the necessary arrangements Tuesday afternoon and then set off Wednesday in the pouring rain. It was only 45 km to Nancy, the next big city on our trip, but that's too much for us to do in one day so we made an overnight stop bankside in the village of Sommerviller. Just before Nancy was a supermarket right next to the bank. Your shopping cart can be pulled right up to the boat. One of the problems with being out in the middle of nowhere is that we hadn't visited a supermarket since Saverne. We tied up and restocked the wine locker, bought a few groceries and by 3 pm we tied up bankside in Nancy, Art Nouveau hq.

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