Podcast – The French Canals

You’ve read our stories, now hear our lovely voices!  Brian and I both had the pleasure of speaking with Franz, who interviewed us for his podcast series, Sailing in the Mediterranean.  Franz’s website (http://www.medsailor.com/) is filled with fantastic, firsthand information and helpful resources for cruising and chartering in the Mediterranean Sea. He also features topic interviews…

Domtouren, Utrecht

The day’s challenge…climb to the top of the tallest tower in the Netherlands, Dom Tower.  Challenge accepted! Just a moment, back up the boat!  One day hiking ’round the Leukermeer and the next climbing a church tower!? Well, yea, that’s the Netherlands!  Lots to see with itty-bitty spaces between.  We’d traveled 77.4nm between the Leukermeer and Utrecht;…

Anchoring, Dutch Style

It’s been over 1-year since we dropped and set an anchor from aboard S/V Rode Trip and now, for the first time along our canal travels, we had an opportunity to anchor Detour.  Just like riding a bicycle, right?  Previously we had a completely manual, fantastic system.  We’d communicated well with one another and used the same technique…

Navigating to Venlo

Traveling the Maas River into the Netherlands we’d entered a very different watery world in comparison to France and Belgium.  The river was wide and the surrounding scenery flat with scatterings of homes, trees, and livestock.  There was much commercial traffic, large locks, and oodles of pleasure boats.  We’d been maintaining a tally of commercial…

“Oy!” from Huy, Belgium

From Dinant, we traveled 14.4 nm of the Meuse River and were lowered through six locks to end our second day in Belgium at the city quayside of Namur.  The scenery en-route reminded us of a storybook; quaint towns, cascading willows, half-timbered houses, and castles scattered here and there between.  The citadel overlooking Namur was free…

Dinant

The Bayard Rock greeted us as we approached the city of Dinant, Belgium and soon we were “Oo-ing” and “Aah-ing” over the city’s waterfront. Row houses, each unique, lined the Meuse River.  Passenger vessels filled to the brim with tourists (the very same vessels which shared the Ecluse Anseremme with us) motored upstream and downstream.  Kayakers paddled…

Welcome to Belgium!

From the bridge, we overlooked Detour at Givet; our last stop in France.  That evening we strolled the streets of Givet, then settled into the cockpit for a celebratory bottle of French wine as the next day’s travel would bring us into a new country.  Hard to believe we’d crossed an entire country prior to crossing an ocean!…

St Mihiel to Verdun – What a Day!

This day was no ordinary lazy, river cruise down the Meuse.  During our trip from St Mihiel to Verdun, we traversed 26 miles and were lowered down nine locks; with a few bursts of excitement along the way! The day’s first lock beyond St Mihiel, Ecluse #11, was the first of several manual locks along…

Trench of Thirst at St Mihiel

From the pontoon at St Mihiel, Brian and I had our first sampling of World War I history.  We’d gotten a great sightseeing tip from Kent and Heather (M/Y Apres Ski) who had recommended we visit the Trench of Thirst.  Kent provided excellent walking directions, which we followed although skeptical that we were actually heading out…

Enter Canal de la Meuse

At Troussey, we exited the Canal de la Marne au Rhin and Detour was lowered down Ecluse #1 to begin the Canal de la Meuse.  Not our most scenic entry, however the farther along we travel through the Meuse, the more beautiful the scenery does become.  The Meuse River winds its way from Troussey to the…