Sunday, 14 June 2015

A Very British Weekend

On the banks of the Thames river, 800 years ago, King John put his name to the Magna Carta at Runnymeade.This was the founding document of  British democracy.

       The royal barge Gloriana., A gift to the Queen at her Jubilee, was completed in 2012

  Gloriana, 29m long and pulled by 20 rowers on her passage down the Thames to Runnymeade

I had an invitation from my old sailing mate and co-author of Swatchway Magic, Paul, to head over to England for the weekend,  Apart from the appeal of a Thames side beer or two, there was to be a river pageant leading up to the Queen returning to the site of the original signing at Runnymeade, all happening close to their riverside home and Antiopes' first port of call when we first bought her 6 years ago.

The annual Shepperton raft race.

The weekend turned out to be filled with very British events, The Queen inspected her troops at the trooping of the colour as her official birthday treat, the annual Shepperton raft race, and the grand river parade.

An original jolly boat from the Royal Yacht Britannia

Could only be in Britain !

Altogether a very British weekend, topped off by NZ winning another cricket match.

Cheers Charles 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Many faces of Metz

After a week of exploring and a bit of maintenance time in Nancy, I am joined by my daughter April and family arriving by train from Paris after flying direct from NZ. Nancy is an excellent train connection for cruising boaters.
The Nancy Embranchment canal

Soon underway we take the scenic route out of Nancy along the shortest canal in France but the most heavily locked, 15 locks over 5kms. Then a short diversion down the Vosges canal brings us to the aquaduct at Flavingy


Antiope floats across the young Moselle river on the Flavingy aquaduct

Back once more on the navigable Moselle river we stop for the day at Liverdun, A dramatic turn in the river almost circles this old fortified town, which is topped by a restored chateau

Liverdun on the Moselle river, a favorite stop.

The old Rhine canal once ran through a tunnel under Liverdun cutting off the big loop of river

For the crew, France is a new experience, even GREEN BEER !

The Moselle locks are huge, this one drops by 9 metres 
Before reaching Metz we moor below the Roman aquaduct that fed water from the hills for 22 km into what is now the city of Metz

Built in the 2nd century this Roman aquaduct carried water across the Moselle river

The aquaduct still dwarfs the town below

Metz will be my home for the next couple of weeks as the Moselle downstream is to be closed for maintenance. There are worst places to be held up !!

Metz, the view from the window

The Cathedral at Metz is special for its' amazing stained glass, The camera just cannot do it justice

All of this was built before New Zealand was even on the map !

Enough for now.  Charles