Sunday, 19 July 2015

A Month in Alsace Lorraine

 A bit of a round trip, We have cruised  350 kms, Nancy to Nancy by way of the Moselle, Saar, and Rhine/Marne canal.

Alsace region, Eastern France, luxembourg, Germany.

King Stanislas of Poland, and Duke of  Lorraine, Nancy. 

Moselle vineyard

We stopped at the wharf at Shengen, a small village on the common border of three countries, It gave its name to the freedom of travel treaty signed here, 

A convoy barge emerges from a lock, the two craft total length 172m

BBQ time, moored on the Saar river

Cruise ship on the Saar river, magnificent scenery

More river traffic on the Saar

Villeroy and Bosch, the original works.

'Volklingen', This abandoned smelter, has world heritage status.

Sarreguimemines, A classy mooring

Bastille day, back in Nancy

From here, we head down the Rhine river. eventually Berlin. 
Watch this space 


Of Forts and Castles

While cruising the Lorraine province of France, it is clear that this region has been fought over since Roman times, every town became a fortress.

Sierck les Bains castle on the Moselle at the border of France and Germany

Saarburg castle  Germany, overlooking a strategic bend in the Saar river

The German gateway into Metz

The Romans were used the rivers here to maintain their regional Empire. Trier on the banks of the Saar is claimed to be the oldest German town.

Porta Nigra, 'the black gate' the surviving Roman gateway into Trier

The French, determined not to be invaded again after WW1 built the Maginot line of fortifications, along their eastern border. Sadly it failed, 

The Maginot line fort at Hackenbourg is open view 

Just one of  hundreds of the Maginot line mortar turrets,
Now you see it,
Now you don't !

                                                   Inside the Fort, 

In action troops would have spent weeks below ground, linked by tunnels and a railway.

I am left bewildered by these massive structures, built for the business of war.