Sunday, September 26, 2010

Border between Germany and Luxemburg.

A view from the back of the boat overlooking the Mosel.

Wasserbillig (Luxemburg) on the left, and Oberbillig (Germany) on the right.

For the next 35 km we will have Luxemburg on our right, and Germany on our left. After that we will be in France.

But first it is time to take a break, and hop on a train to go visit the Dislich's

We might not be able to post to the blog, as I don't know what the internet coverage will be in France.!??

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A view from our window

Saarburg falls.

Saarburg attracts a lot of visitors to view the falls that run right through the city. Again, like so many places along these rivers, very interesting and unique.


The narrow, steep streets of Saarburg.

Fall colors start to appear.

It has been just short of a week that we came up the Saar and everything was still green. On our way back we saw evidence that fall is on it's way.

It was a rainy day when we left, so we decided to continue all the way to Saarburg, only 11 km from where the Saar flows into the Mosel. We came just over 80 km, and navigated 5 locks.

The Saar beyond Saarbrucken

This is the reason we could not go further up the Saar than Saarbrucken. The Saar turns into the Saar canal, and becomes to narrow and low for us.


Hannes with his dog, and fresh French bread.

We had planned to stay in Saarbrucken for one, perhaps two days. However the welcome, and information we received from Hannes, the harbor master was so good that we ended up staying three!!

 The weather was beautiful, and Hannes would supply us with freshly baked "French"  bread every morning. He even invited us for lunch one day, home made goulash ( by Hannes)  over noodles, Mmm,Mmm good.

We had a wonderful stay in Saarbrucken, and biked 15 km into France to Sarreguemindes.
However most memorable was meeting  Hannes!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

End of the road (river)

It is the end of the road (Saar) for Le rêve, as we have gone as far as we can on this river.

With the dimensions of our boat we could not exit the last lock, evidence that things are getting tight  We had no problem entering the lock, however a bridge over the end of the lock was to low for us to pass under, and we had to lower the tower before we could exit. We are in Saarbrucken which is right on the French border.  We plan to go into France by bike, or by dingy before returning to the Mosel. 

Some information on traveling the Mosel, and the Saar.
We have traveled 290 km from where the Mosel enters the Rhine. We have come through a total of 16 locks rising a total of 124 meters. 10 locks on the Mosel, (72 meter) and 6 on the Saar (52 meter)
The first 40 miles are the prettiest cruising on the Saar, with high mountains, and steep banks.  As a result of the mountainous geography the first 3 locks raised us up 11 meters each as opposed  to 7 meter average on the Mosel. Also the Saar locks have a Small craft lock where we fit in and locking through is much faster as opposed to the Mosel. The Mosel locks, also have a small craft lock, however they are to narrow for us and we have to lock through the commercial locks, usually with a large commercial boat.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Biking along the "Saar"


We are enjoying beautiful fall weather and have taken advantage of it by biking along the Saar.  We biked from "Merzig" ( where we are now) to Mettlach. (33 km there and back) 
Mettlach is an interesting village, as it is the home of "Villeroy & Bock" a well known name for fine china and ceramics. Joanne said she didn't know there were so many different patterns, colors, designs and shapes available.

Continuation of "super Grover"

Joanne captured this guy ( with the yellow kite) from beginning to complete flight.  And here (on the last picture) he is flying with his fellow hang gliders as the up draft carries him high above the mountains.

We saw as many as a dozen hang gliders in the air at one time.

Harold will be able to associate with these guys!!!!

Hang gliding

We came through what is called the "Große Saarschleife" ( the large Saar loop) It is a bend in the Saar that twists around a mountain doing more than 180 deg. turn before continuing on it's way south. It must be an ideal place for hang gliding, as we observed several hang gliders take off from a platform high above us on the edge of the mountain. The above pictures show one hang glider run down the sloped platform and take flight. We will call him "super Grover"

the "Saar"

From Konz we turned to port, and entered the river "Saar". The first day we traveled over 40 km and were pleased with the beautiful scenery. Very different from the Mosel. Instead of vineyards we now cruised by steep, high, mountains covered with thick forest.  The locks also were higher than in the Mosel (11 meters on average).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Trier market square

The main market square with many (even though more modern) beautiful buildings.

Karl Marx

Trier is also the birth place of "Karl Marx"

The "Dome's" interior

The "Dome" in Trier

This cathedral although not the largest, is certainly one of the most beautiful we have seen.  What struck us was the fact that it does not have stained glass windows like most cathedrals, however the details of the stone, and marble art work was magnificent as you can see on the next posting.

2de century buildings

"Porta Negra"
Trier is the oldest city in Germany. The old gate shown in  this picture dates back to the end of the second century.  The entire city was walled, and this was the main entrance.

Trier was founded by the Romans as early as 17 BC, and was the city from which that area of the Roman empire was governed.

The building shown above along with 7 others in Trier is named by UNESCO as  world cultural heritage sites. 
Just imagine, a building almost 2 thousand years old and still standing. I doubt if the buildings we build today will still be standing in 200 years!!!

Getting our exersize

Konz is about 9 km upstream from Trier, and in order to visit this most interesting city (Trier) we have to take the bike and bike back 9 km. The ride is nice and flat, and follows the Mosel all the way.


The ancient "Roman bridge" at Trier. 

I mentioned "ancient" because that's what it is. It dates back to the 2de century and was build during the reign of emperor Constantine.

The figure between the two arches, depicts the emperor.

On route to "Konz"

As we get further up the Mosel, the bridges seem to get lower. Do we fit under without lowering the tower, or even the entire radar arch!?!?!?

In order not to be surprised, we adjust the boat pole at just the right length,  and fix it to the front of the boat.
If it fits under, so does the rest of the boat.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting a taste

Vineyards up close

Blue grapes -Red wine!!
White grapes-White wine!!


When you see the vineyards from a distance you can not see the grapes, however when you get up close you see the vines are laden with grapes.  Seeing this up close you start to realize the gallons and gallons of wine that must be produced along the Mosel.

The area is known for it's white wine, and in particular the "Riesling" variety.  And favoring white wine over red myself, I think they produce an excellent  white wine on the Mosel.

However 15 years ago they started growing blue grapes of the "Dornfelder" variety, and thus the Dornfelder wine was born.

On route to Bernkastel-Kues

Just some pretty villages along the way. Pictures turn out so much better when the sun shines!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The view from the cockpit.

  Our last day in Zell.
Yesterday (Monday) they predicted  rain, however the weather was sunny and warm, so we decided to spend an other day in Zell.

The "Zell Schloss"

The "Zell  Schloss" (castle).
It is now a hotel and restaurant.

When we walked through the town Willemien noticed a sign "Synagogue" and we checked it out.

We got a very in depth explanation from an elderly gentleman about the history of the building and their inhabitants.

It is the only synagogue built onto a castle. It was very small, but much history.

Zell is built (like all towns on the Mosel) on the banks of the river. Where the town stops the vineyards start, as can be seen in this picture. 

Here a picture of the synagogue portion of the building.

Shuttle service

Herman and I took the dingy back to Senheim to pick up his car
The weather was beautiful when we left.
However soon after we left the weather turned nasty, and by the time I got back with the dingy, I was soaked.