Saturday, 22 August 2015


Having left the Rhine river, we entered the Mittelland canal, a stretch of waterway that crosses most of Germany with only 3 locks. The canal is not exactly scenic, especially in the rain. At Potsdam the skies cleared and we anchor in the lake for a BBQ.

A quiet evening on Potsdam lake
The last page of the route from Nancy some 1200 Kms

Glenicker bridge was the site of  spy swaps during the cold war

A series of lakes lead us to Spandau where we join the Berlin waterways, and a spectacular entry into Berlin
A spectacular entrance to an amazing city.

The picture says it all

The Wall was here, right alongside the waterway.

Antiope in Berlin, a 10min Metro (S Ban) ride from Brandenburg gate

 Cheers Charles

Monday, 17 August 2015

The Mighty Rhine River

                           From Strasbourg our passage takes us down the Rhine for 500 kms.

Once on the Rhine we are in German waters

At first our passage is sedate on the locked upper Rhine

The last  Rhine lock is over 1000 kms  from the North Sea

The free flowing river picks up pace. 

Below Iffezheim lock the Rhine free flows to the sea, at up to 5 knots at times.

Rhine traffic, a busy river

The ubiquitous cruise ships

Blue Flagging, A constant lookout is essential

On the Rhine, because of the strong flow, commercial craft have absolute right of way, and may display a Blue board by their bridge, signalling their intention to pass to Starboard, ie the wrong side.

The Rhine Gorge is dramatic. Castles on every bend.

Vineyards stretch away up the valley sides

The infamous Loreley rock towers over a narrow 90 degree bend

Loreley (Lorelei) rock

The Rhine at Cologne, a much more passive river
The Cathedral defies the imagination of any scale

Antiope tucked up in Cologne marina, far left, the pontoon is 700m long. 

This Viking replica was also making a Rhine passage to the sea.

We met a crew of four Germans who had spent 10 years building this replica Viking ship and were making the passage from Switzerland to the sea.

Shingle banks exposed by low river levels

The Rhine was running almost 2m below its normal level, restricting traffic.
At Duisburg in the Rhur region, the Rhine had revealed RAF bombs.
Local boaters had never seen the river so low.

 Duisburg lock, Rhur valley

At Duisburg we leave the Rhine and enter the Rhein-Herne canal, on our way towards Berlin.


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Taking the lift to Strasbourg

In a quiet backwater just outside Nancy

With a couple of weeks between guests aboard, I found a quiet spot for a bit of maintenance.
i also took time to explore town.

The Porte de la Graffe, Nancy, has stood here since 1360

Joan of Arc is claimed as a local lass
On August 3rd we get underway, with news that the Arzviller Inclined plane has re-opened, after a two year closure, severing this route to the Rhine. So with a new crew we head for Strasbourg, the Rhine and Germany
A day out from Nancy and we encounter this beast of a lock at Rechicourt, It replaced a chain of 6 locks.
The single deepest lock on the Marne-Rhine canal, a staggering 16m

An early start, to cover some ground before the hire boats are moving

 Two days out from Nancy and we are at the Summit of the canal, the waters behind us flow to the Med, the waters ahead flow to the North Sea.
The Arzviller tunnel 2.3 kms long runs alongside the main rail line
from Paris to Strasbourg. 

We arrive at Arzviller, a breathtaking sight.
We ride the lift

Safely down

The Arzviller inclined plane replaced 17 locks back in 1968. raising and lowering boats 44 m in 25 mins, level to level. The container weighs 850 tons full of water.

Lutzelbourg , we are now in the Alsace region, the other side of the hill.

The European parliament  building,
as we arrive in Strasbourg, four days out from Nancy.

We will explore town, before heading out onto the Rhine, turn left and head downstream.
Cheers, Charles, Bruce and Shirley-Ann