2017 Journey

gratisaustralisBelgium 2018, Europe and European Waterways, France 2016, Germany 2017, Netherlands 2017, Switzerland

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Preparing this year’s route from Spandau, Germany to Basel, Switzerland. We thought the mapping for last year was a bit tricky. Working out the best route through Holland and Belgium is even more difficult! It turns out, the shortest route is heading upstream via mostly rivers. Hmmmmmmm!!!!!!!! Maybe not the fastest after all. Need to work out another route and … Read More

Pont a Mousson to Metz, France

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, France 2016

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A distance of thirty kilometres travelled on this morning found us in Metz, a town with 3,500 years of history. Each invasion that took place saw alterations of one kind or another, and sadly much of the visual history had vanished into the annals of time. Metz, the Township Commencing life as a small Celtic mud hut village in 450BC, … Read More

Nancy to Pont a Mousson

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, France 2016

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A late 11:30am start and an easy run: except for the water hose of the engine popping off a few times. The third saw black smoke steaming from you know whose ears. It turned out to be the result of shards from the old impeller blocking the exit, which in turn created pressure build up that caused the hose to blow … Read More

Return to Nancy, France

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, France 2016

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Well, the break is over and we are back in Nancy and online once more, after visiting the most amazing sites: yes, finally a pic of the Matterhorn – that experience just blew us away! After a day of cleaning, shopping and laundry, the car is about to be returned and the canal sojourn recommenced. By this afternoon, Gratis shall … Read More

Molsheim, France to Nancy, France

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, France 2016

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Gentle relaxed car drive as Bob and I returned to Nancy in order to recommence our canal sojourn. Eleven kilometres north – east of our final destination, a short side trip into Saint-Nicolas-de-Port took place: the aim to visit the church, Saint Nicholas Basilica, Bob had read about. Situated in the Meurthe Valley, the town’s name literally meaning ‘passage’. Situated … Read More

Bad Wildbad, Germany to Molsheim, France

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, France 2016, Germany 2017

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  Another lazy start that eventually found us moseying through the Black forest for the last time: low cloud, left over from last night’s rain enshrouded the hills. Mountain wildflowers decorated the countryside – a gentle contrast to the greens – rain seemed to have brightened them. Moss decorated tree trunks, beautiful in the soft spectral lighting, Germany is such … Read More

Nancy to Strasbourg

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, France 2016

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This was the day we commenced a week’s exploration by car. In the Meurther valley, Bob and I chose the picturesque route that took us north of Nancy and Strasbourg In abundance, were the community vegie gardens that allowed those of the close knit high rise complexes their small piece of earth. As our drive continued, those small family plots … Read More

La Rochere Glassworks

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, France 2016

As towns went, Nancy was par for the course. Its main name to fame being its centrality and a place to hire a car for our upcoming trip into southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A short trip today took us to La Rochere and the oldest glass producing factory in the world: La Rochere Glass Factory. Founded in 1475 the … Read More

Richardmenil to Nancy

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, France 2016

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Chill, chill, bone – aching, numbing ice biting chill. White upon the breath, chill deep into the lungs, nowhere warmth! Where had the summer heat gone this year? Add to the mix, rain, rain and more rain! Wet to the bone, we at last arrived at the junction where we would enter Embranchment du Nancy. It was here that the … Read More

Charmes to Richardmenil

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, France 2016

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Heavy drenching rain overnight, brought with it a chill that pervaded the air. Out came the trackies, woollens and wet weather coats as we made our way to Richardmenil. 9am, engine on, lines being brought on board, the first lock commenced the opening process. Upon the canal, it is etiquette to allow those who arrive first the night before to … Read More

Epinal to Charmes

gratisaustralisBoat Work, Europe and European Waterways, France 2016, French Waterways

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Entering the locks continually caused issues as the fenders rose upon connecting with, then proceeding to run along the walls. This in turn meant the hull was no longer protected and Gratis new paintwork was damaged. Today we experimented with the fenders by lowering them until they sat horizontally upon the water rather than vertically just below the rubbing strake. … Read More

Pont des Forges to Epinal

gratisaustralisEurope and European Waterways, France 2016, French Waterways

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An early start – as starts went, that was when locks didn’t open until 9am – on a grey drizzly day, yet not that cool: a change pleasant change to the heat of the sun beating down. The numbering system recommencing at ‘one’, the downward journey upon the Golbey Stair case – 15 locks one after the other – took … Read More