Wanderlust’s 1000th Lock

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On the 29th of September 2015 Wanderlust passed through her 1000th lock. The milestone occurred on the eastern segment of the Canal de la Marne au Rhin near Vitry-le-François. Wanderlust’s crew took a brief break to celebrate the moment and then quickly headed into her 1001st, 1002nd, 1003rd… locks. There are many, many more locks in Wanderlust’s future. Continue reading

Hammer Time

Wanderlust waits in a lock

Wanderlust waits in a lock

After a delay in Toul to drop off a guest and to have our plumbing leak and numerous other things fixed at Lorraine Marine, Wanderlust returned to cruise mode. It was hammer time. We needed to move fast to be able to get back to our winter mooring in Auxerre. Continue reading

Return to Toul: The Leak is Fixed

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If you’ve come to Barge Wanderlust expecting cheery tales of pleasant times on the inland waterways of France you might want to skip this installment. This segment focuses on the plumbing leaks and other problems Wanderlust has experienced. This unfortunate sequence of problems negatively colored our experiences in 2015. Indeed, this very upsetting course of events has colored our view on Piper Boats and on barging. Continue reading

Return to Nancy

Wanderlust finds a spot in Nancy's port.

Wanderlust finds a spot in Nancy’s port.

Leaving Strasbourg Wanderlust started on the return journey to her winter mooring in Auxerre. At first we moved quickly. But once we reached Saverne and picked up our next guests we slowed to a tourist’s pace. Our visitors, Erik and Judy, joined us as we revisited the best section of the French waterways that we enjoyed in 2015. Continue reading

Kehl Germany

A pedestrian bridge crosses the Rhine linking Strasbourg France to Kehl Germany.

A pedestrian bridge crosses the Rhine linking Strasbourg France to Kehl Germany.

Strasbourg is very bike friendly. Bike lanes cross the city and allow easy access to the suburbs. There’s one downside: At times there’s more bike traffic than car traffic. Navigating through hordes of bikes can be a serious challenge. In Strasbourg the chances of being hit by another bike seem much higher than being hit by a car. Becky and I took advantage of the extend network of bike routes to visit another country. Kehl Germany is just across the Rhine from Strasbourg. With a couple of kilometers of riding we were in Germany. Continue reading

Strasbourg

Private boats are not allowed into Strasbourg's center but tour boats are.

Private boats are not allowed into Strasbourg’s center but tour boats are.

When Wanderlust reached Strasbourg on the 25th of August it marked the extreme of her cruising range for the 2015 season. From Strasbourg we’d travel only waterways we had been on before on our way back to our starting point in Auxerre. In this sense, Strasbourg was the destination for 2015. And as well it should have been. UNESCO World Heritage designated Strasbourg is a very interesting and photogenic city. Continue reading

Lutzelbourg

Lutzelbourg viewed from the canal.

Lutzelbourg viewed from the canal.

Four locks from the bottom of the Arzviller Inclined Plane, at the base of the wooded valley floor, is the small town of Lutzelbourg. A bit French and a bit Germanic, Lutzelbourg is a romantic postcard of the Alsace. The scene along the canal near the town is straight out of a hire boat company brochure. Continue reading

Saint-Louis-Arzviller Inclined Plane

An audience watches as Wanderlust descends.

An audience watches as Wanderlust descends.

When Wanderlust reached the top of the Écluse de Réchicourt-le-Château she entered the 33 km-long summit pound of the canal de la Marne au Rhin (est). Heading west to Strasbourg and the Rhine River, she left the Sarre and Moselle drainages behind. After an overnight stop at PK 239, and a little more mopping up from the latest bilge flood, we were on our way. This day we’d pass through two more tunnels before descending on the infamous Saint-Louis-Arzviller inclined plane. Continue reading

Réchicourt Lock: Unexpected Waters

Wanderlust mooring above the Réchicourt Lock.

Wanderlust mooring above the Réchicourt Lock.

Just after passing through the Écluse de Réchicourt-le-Château we pulled to the bank to take some pictures and eat lunch. The layby quay was full so moved a short distance forward to a bank mooring with stout bollards set well back on the shore. It was a tricky place to tie up. We had to maneuver close to the bank, hover, and put the boarding plank out so we could get the ropes to shore and over the bollards. It all worked out well enough, or so we thought. Continue reading

Écluse de Réchicourt-le-Château

Wanderlust nears the top of the Réchicourt-le-Château lock.

Wanderlust nears the top of the Réchicourt-le-Château lock.

The eastern segment of the canal de la Marne au Rhin is appealing. It features two of the most spectacular pieces of infrastructure on the Freycinet gauge waterways of France, the Écluse de Réchicourt-le-Château and the Saint-Louis-Arzviller Inclined Plane. And for much of the distance, the countryside along the canal is lush and attractive. Continue reading